Will Priyanka Gandhi, Gen-Next leaders in Rajya Sabha benefit Congress

Priyanka Gandhi

New Delhi, Feb 16 Speculation is intense on the possibility of bringing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into the Rajya Sabha as several senior leaders of the Congress party, including Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Digvijaya Singh’s tenures are set to end in April.

But leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad is almost certain to be nominated again.

After Congress decimated in the Delhi Assembly election, a major reshuffle is expected in the party and GenNext leaders are set to be inducted in the party organisation and the Rajya Sabha as well.

More than 51 members of Rajya Sabha will retire in April 2020, including Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh.

While seven Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra will be vacated, six members from Tamil Nadu will be retired.

Moreover, 5 seats each from West Bengal and Bihar, four each from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each from Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh and two each from Telangana, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh will be vacated.

According to sources, the Congress is weighing options to send General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi to the upper house of Parliament from Chhattisgarh in the biennial elections to be held in April.

Other leaders include Jyotiraditya Scindia who lost his seat from Guna in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Karuna Shukla, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Milind Deora and Rajiv Satav could find a place from Maharashtra, and Jitin Prasada may be conducted from Bihar in a seat which RJD could concede to the Congress.

A source said that one veteran and one young leader is likely to be accommodated in the upper house where there are two or more seats. If there is one, then other things can also be considered, the source said.

The party is lacking a forceful voice in the upper house and Priyanka Gandhi can fill the space with Rahul Gandhi taking on the government in the Lok Sabha. But the party has to face the allegation of promoting dynasts at cost of workers. During the Lok Sabha polls, it was clear that she will contest bypolls later from Amethi, but the programme failed as Rahul Gandhi was defeated from the family borough though he won from Kerala’s Wayanad.

Priyanka Gandhi was keen to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi but did not get party nod to go ahead.

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