Man­mo­han un­likely to get As­sam RS berth

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Nation election20­19 - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI:For­mer prime min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh’s 28-year­long Ra­jya Sabha ten­ure is un­likely to get an­other ex­ten­sion from As­sam, the state from where he has been a five-term Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment since 1991. A se­nior Congress leader, how­ever, said that the party will be keen to renom­i­nate him from Tamil Nadu when elec­tions to the Up­per House take place in July.

With the terms of Singh and San­tius Ku­jur ending on June 14, the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia an­nounced the bi­en­nial elec­tion to the Coun­cil of States from As­sam on Tues­day.

Elec­tions will now be held on June 7. No­ti­fi­ca­tion will be is­sued on May 21, and the last date of nom­i­na­tions is May 28.

The Congress would need at least 43 first pref­er­ence votes to win a seat from As­sam in this bi­en­nial elec­tion from the 126 mem­ber-strong state assem­bly.

Congress, the prin­ci­pal op­po­si­tion party in the state, has just 25 MLAs, while an­other op­po­si­tion party, Badrud­din Aj­mal’s All In­dia United Demo­cratic Front, has 13 leg­is­la­tors. The rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, en­joys 61 mem­bers in the House and its al­lies Asom Gana Par­ishad and Bodoland Peo­ple’s Front have 14 and 12 MLAs.

This arith­metic makes it dif­fi­cult for the Congress to se­cure an easy win for its can­di­date.

In July, an­other six seats will be up for grabs from Tamil Nadu. The DMK-led Op­po­si­tion group, in which the Congress is also a part­ner, has a chance to bag at least two Ra­jya Sabha berths from the largest south­ern state.

“A clearer pic­ture will emerge post May 23,” a se­nior Congress leader told HT, which will de­ter­mine the party’s strat­egy for the Ra­jya Sabha polls.

Man­mo­han Singh

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