Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, whose Rajya Sabha term ended two months back, is being fielded for the Upper House from Rajasthan. Sharma had to get reelected within six months to continue as minister.
As the Congress cannot get him reelected from his home state, Himachal Pradesh, Sharma is being shifted to Congress-ruled Rajasthan.
The party also fielded Ask Ali Tak, a Muslim, and Narendra Budhiana, a Jat, for the other two seats in Rajasthan. The BJP fielded former Lok Sabha member V.B. Singh from the state.
For the lone seat it can win in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has fielded Vijaylakshmi Sadho, a Dalit leader who was in the Digvijay Singh government. BJP nominees in MP are journalist-politician Chandan Mitra and Anil Madhav Dave. Its spokesman Tarun Vijay will contest from Uttarakhand.
“The party president has been authorised to decide the candidates for the second seat in Rajasthan, the third seat for Karnataka, one seat from Jharkhand and the third seat from Orissa in consultation with the state prabharis,” said BJP leader Ananth Kumar. This means that it will have to negotiate with the JMM. The names of Hema Malini, Najma Heptullah and Smriti Irani are doing the rounds for the second Rajasthan seat.