New Delhi, May 25 (IANS): After Kapil Sibal exited from the Congress and filed nomination as independent candidate for Rajya Sabha with the support of Samajwadi Party, it's likely that senior party leader and one of the driving force in G-23, Ghulam Nabi Azad will be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha list to stop further exodus of high profile Congress leaders, sources said. Already five leaders have left the party in 2022.
The Congress is likely to release the list soon and the contenders include Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, Kumari Selja, Anand Sharma, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Avinash Pande apart from P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Veerappa Moily.
However, the final call will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and many state units are pitching for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as candidate. In the last Rajya Sabha polls, Chhattisgarh wanted to send her but it was decided that it will create unnecessary controversy and instead K.T.S. Tulsi was nominated to the upper house.
The Congress can elect eight Rajya Sabha members from Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and two more can come with support of allies in Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
Anand Sharma is hoping to be elected from Haryana, but sources say Kumari Selja and Randeep Singh Surjewala are the contenders for the seat. And P. Chidambaram may get a renomination from his home state of Tamil Nadu.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, who made peace with the party leadership, is also in the race after being overlooked last time. Sources say that this time he could be accommodated from either Rajasthan or Karnataka.
However, party sources indicated that half the candidates will be from the young guard and half from the veterans. Many state units like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka are pitching for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The Karnataka Congress is contemplating to field Priyanka for the Rajya Sabha from the state to boost the party's prospects ahead of next year's Assembly elections.