Different factions in the ruling Congress likely to press for their own nominees in upcoming Rajya Sabha elections as one post of upper house in the state is going to get vacant after complete tenure of senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar.
Party insiders said that party state president Sukhvinder Singh Sukh could be one of contenders for Rajya Sabha as it would benefit the ruling Congress to strengthen the party position in Hamirpur – the BJP bastion in the state.
HPCA president and Hamirpur MP from Lok Sabha Anurag Thakur hand been retained the Lok Sabha seat to be counter by giving Rajya Sabha seat to district having no member in the state cabinet. Mr. Sukh is state president of party and he could be one of the choices for Rajya Sabha.
State Chief Minsiter Virbhadra Singh could project Mr. Harsh Mahajan who is state Congress vice president and confident of Mr. Singh.
Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma who himself remained Rajya Sabha member from HP and having good say in AICC also could press for Harsh Vardhan, former member of assembly from Shillai in Sirmaur, also considered one of loyalists of Mr. Sharma.
HPCC spokesman Naresh Chauhan said that party has considered few names of probable candidates which would be discussed shortly.
Himachal Pradesh Assembly have 36 members from Congress including 1 member in jail and one is on the post of speaker, BJP 26, independent 5 and 1 HLP. Out of four seats of Lok Sabha, Congress have stake on 1, however, BJP had edge as it has 3 each seat in both house.
HLP lone member and president of party in state assembly has not open his card so far and maintained silence over his choice to go either of them if BJP too stake claim for the seat.
Talking to media, BJP state party chief Satpal Singh Satti said that it would project its leaders but so far there is no consensuses over this decision.
State Congress have wafer thin majority in the assembly and may face the BJP fight on the seat as member of Parliament happens to participate in the polling. 26 MLA plus 6 MP of BJP and 34 MLA plus 1 MP of Congress is the power equation for the contest. 6 others would decide the result of the game.
The notification of the election for this lone seat in to be held on February 7 as notification for the poll is likely to be released on January 25, 2014. The last date of filling nominations is January 28 and the scrutiny of nomination papers would be done on the next day. Candidates could withdraw their names upto January 31, 2014.
The polling for the election would be held at Dr. Y.S. Parmar Library in the campus of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Shimla. Mr. Shanta Kumar was elected unopposed from the BJP in 2008.