Guwahati: Amidst the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, hectic lobbying has started in the ruling coalition for two Rajya Sabha seats going to fall vacant on June 14.
The six-year term of two Rajya Sabha members from Assam — former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Santiuse Kujur – is going to expire in mid-June this year. The election to the two Rajya Sabha seats needs to be completed before the expiry of their terms.
Indicating that one seat may go to a coalition partner, sources said that central BJP leadership would be applying its mind on selection candidate only after the notification of the poll dates.
The permutation and combination for these two Rajya Sabha seats has already started among political parties in the state. If the present strength of legislators of the BJP-led coalition in the state has to be taken into account, the ruling coalition has the number to wrest both the seats from the Congress. A party needs 43 votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat and 86 votes for two seats. The ruling coalition has 88 seats – 61 of the BJP, 14 of the AGP and 12 of the BPF, besides independent MLA Bhuban Pegu. On the other hand, Congress has 25 and the AIUDF has 13 legislators.
The principal secretary of the Assam assembly secretariat Mr M K Deka told reporters that the terms of two Rajya Sabha seats in Assam are going to expire on June 14 this year, and hence the Election Commission of India may issue the poll notification soon.
Before the Lok Sabha poll when the AGP reverted to the BJP-led coalition, the BJP assured the AGP of leaving one of the two Rajya Sabha seats going to be vacated in June for the latter to field candidate. Since the arithmetic is tilted towards the BJP-led coalition in the state, it is not known if the Congress will project former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as its candidate for the Elders’ House from Assam or not.
The insiders in the Congress party told correspondent that party has decided not to field the name of Mr Singh for a seat on which his defeat is almost certain.
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