iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 28, 2012
Actor Nagma and several party loyalists are lobbying for the Congress ticket for the Rajya Sabha bypoll to be held on January 12, said sources.

The schedule for the byelection to fill up the vacancy following the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh was announced on Thursday. The leader passed away on August 14, four months after getting re-elected this year.

According to Congress sources, Nagma, 38, had earlier asked the Congress high command for a Lok Sabha ticket from Mumbai and northern states in 2009. Though denied a ticket then, she campaigned for party candidates in Mumbai and Hindi-Bhojpuri heartland. Nagma remained unavailable for comment.

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said that the actor was a dedicated party worker and it was her right to demand a ticket.

With enough members in the legislative Assembly and ally Nationalist Congress Party's support, the Congress could win the seat easily. A section in the party wants the leader's widow Vaishali to get the candidature. The family has refused to comment on the development.

Among other aspirants are women's leader Rajani Patil, former minister Rohidas Patil, ex-legislator from Miya-Bhayander Muzaffar Hussain. Ex-Sena leader-turned-Congressman Subodh Mohite too has applied for the candidature. In October 2008, Mohite could not file his nomination for the legislative council polls owing to the delay caused in his journey from Nagpur to Mumbai. He wants the party to compensate for the loss.

The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance is yet to take a call on the candidature. In the previous elections, Deshmukh and five others - Rajiv Shukla (Congress), DP Tripathi and Vandana Chavan (both NCP), Ajay Sancheti (BJP) and Anil Desai (Sena) were elected without any opposition.