By Special Correspondent, TwoCircles.net,
Ahmedabad: While the state Congress has decided to field Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections in the state, the BJP is contemplating to field its national spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman and former minister of state for Home Amit Shah from the state.
The elections for three Rajya Sabha seats from the state, which will fall vacant with the completion of the terms of Ahmed Patel of the Congress, Surendra Patel and Pravinchandra Naik of BJP, in August this year, will be held on July 22. Ahmed Patel is sure to be re-elected as Congress has enough seats in the state assembly to get elected one Rajya Sabha member.
Party sources said that Patel was not willing to contest again for the Rajya Sabha but he was prevailed upon by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Congress heavy weight from Gujarat, Patel is among the closest to the Congress supremo and his advice is taken to be final by Sonia in party matters.
Born in 1949 in Piramal village of Bharuch district, Patel would be contesting Rajya Sabha election for the fourth time. The 62-year-ol Patel had earlier got elected to Rajya Sabha from the state in October 1996, February 1999 and August 2005.
Previously, he had got elected to Lok Sabha on Congress ticket from Bharuch parliamentary seat in 1977 when the then Janata Party had swept the polls across the nation. He was again elected to Lok Sabha from Bharuch seat in 1980 and 1984. After that, Bharuch seat went to BJP owing to communalization of atmosphere in the state by BJP.
The state party leaders of the BJP on Wednesday authorized Chief Minister Narendra Modi to nominate whomever he thinks to send to the upper house from the state. Party sources said that Modi was considering nominating a woman party leader for one of the two seats. Though the names of TV serial actress Smriti Irani and former Lok Sabha MP Jayaben Thakkar was being rumored, sources close to Modi say that the CM was interested in fielding Nirmala Sitharaman.