The Congress party is not taking any chances in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, and Rajasthan. Congress party [president Sonia Gandhi appointed senior party leaders, including the leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, as observers. While Mr. Kharge has been appointed the observer for Maharashtra, Rajeev Shukla, and Mr. Bhagel have been appointed as observers for Haryana and TS Singh Deo and Pawan Kumar for Rajasthan.
Congress has fielded Pramod Tewari in Rajasthan, Ajay Maken in Haryana, and Imran Partapgarhi in Maharashtra.
A win for Mr. Maken was a certainty till media baron Kartikeya Sharma, son of former Congress leader Venod Sharma, filed his nomination with the help of JJP. To win a Rajya Sabha seat from this state, a candidate has to get at least 30 votes. Congress has 31, but it is not counting on Kuldeep Bishnoi. Insiders claim that the Congress party high command is in touch with Mr. Bishnoi and is hopeful that he will vote for the candidate nominated by Congress officially.
In Rajasthan, Mr. Gehlot is working overtime to ensure the winning of Congress candidate, Mr. Tewari. In the 200-member Rajasthan assembly, each candidate needs 41 votes to win, the Congress and BJP have 108 and 71 votes respectively.
In Maharashtra as well, the Shiv Sena and the BJP will battle it out for the sixth seat in the Rajya Sabha as none of the seven candidates in the fray – three from the BJP party and four from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi – withdrew their nominations on Friday. Though the Congress party is visibly on a strong wicket for its single candidate from the state but is not taking any chances.