Sibal, Anand Sharma and Chidambaram vying for Rajya Sabha polls

New Delhi: The Congress is likely to decide on the candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls slated next month as the notification of the election is to be issued this week.

The Congress can win eight seats on its own, but the fate of a few senior leaders is unclear — Kapil Sibal, one of the most vocal voices in the G-23 group, Anand Sharma and P. Chidambaram, who are hoping to get a renomination.

Sources say Sibal may get the support of Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh like the last time. He may get the excess votes of SP and its allies. Around 35 votes are required for the win and the SP alliance has around 20 surplus votes after its third candidate gets the required number of votes. But the situation can get tight if the BJP fields its eighth candidate then the fight could be close.

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Anand Sharma is hoping to be elected from Haryana, but sources say Kumari Selja and Randeep Singh Surjewala too are the contenders for the seat. And P. Chidambaram may get a renomination from his home state of Tamil Nadu.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, who made peace with the party leadership, is also in the race after being overlooked last time. Sources say that this time he could be accommodated from either Rajasthan or Karnataka.

However, party sources indicated that half the candidates will be from the young guard and half from the veterans. Many state units of the party like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka are pitching for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The Karnataka Congress is contemplating to field Priyanka for the Rajya Sabha from the state to boost the party ahead of next year’s Assembly elections.

Sources in the Congress confirmed that its state unit chief D.K. Shivakumar and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah have already approached Priyanka.

They have reportedly explained to the Congress leader that her grandmother late Indira Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi had earlier contested elections from Karnataka and emerged victorious.

While Indira Gandhi had contested from Chikmagalur in 1978, Sonia Gandhi contested from Ballari in 1999.

Their arrival in the state’s political arena had worked well for the Congress in terms of election results. Hence, the Congress now wants to field Priyanka for the Rajya Sabha from the state.

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