RS Polls: Congress workers in Rajasthan question fielding 'outsiders'

Jaipur, Feb 16 (IANS) Even at a time when senior Congress leaders in Rajasthan have welcomed the decision of Sonia Gandhi to contest the February 27 Rajya Sabha polls from the state, a section of party workers have expressed their concerns over the trend of fielding candidates from outside the state for the elections to the Upper House.

Many of them wondered where should the local leaders go if candidates from outside the state are fielded from Rajasthan.

There are 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan, out of which six are held by the Congress and three by the BJP. One seat fell vacant after senior politician Kirodi Lal Meena recently resigned from the post following his victory in the Assembly polls on a BJP ticket.

The Congress Rajya Sabha MPs include Manmohan Singh, Neeraj Dangi, K.C. Venugopal, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Kumar, while the BJP MPs include Bhupendra Yadav, Rajendra Gehlot and Ghanshyam Tiwari.

Unlike the BJP, of the Congress’ six MPs, only Neeraj Dangi is from Rajasthan while the rest are from other states.

The tenures of Manmohan Singh and Bhupendra Yadav will end on April 3, while election will also be held for the seat vacated by Kirodi Lal Meena.

A senior Congress worker said on condition of anonymity, “This is how the BJP is boosting the morale of their workers while we are losing motivation. They are giving chances to their local leaders in RS polls too. So why the Congress is fielding only outside candidates? Why the local leaders are not given a chance?”

Congress spokesperson from Rajasthan, Varun Purohit, meanwhile, hailed Sonia Gandhi’s candidature for the Rajya Sabha polls from Rajasthan. However, he also expressed his concern over the changing trend, saying, “It’s sad that the eligibility for Rajya Sabha nowadays is first you lose deposit for three times and then you get a seat in the Upper House.”

On the displeasure among a section of party cadres, Purohit said, “The workers from the top to bottom are heavily demoralised. Leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi should change their set of advisors and plan afresh, giving chance to the youngsters.”

On Sonia Gandhi filing her nomination from Rajasthan on Wednesday, state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra said, “It is a matter of great joy for Rajasthan that Sonia Gandhi will contest the Rajya Sabha polls from Rajasthan.”



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