Mohammad Adeeb Khan will be the joint candidate of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for the Rajya Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh, nominations for which close on Monday.
The former Aligarh Muslim University Students Union president, who emerged as a consensual choice, is presently with the SP but was until very recently in the Congress.
Said to be close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, Khan was reportedly miffed with Home Minister Shivraj Patil, whom he had approached on the Malegoan issue.
Khan gained from the Congress-SP differences over the original aspirants for the Rajya Sabha seat. The Congress wanted to field its former Uttar Pradesh unit chief, Salman Khurshid, while the SP wanted a renomination for Abu Asim Azmi, its Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra whose term would expire on November 25.
“It was decided to field a Muslim candidate. But while the SP was not ready for Khurshid, we were against Azmi. This helped Khan get a nomination,” said a Congress leader.
The agreement was hammered out after Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh met the Congress president on Saturday.
Since 37 votes are needed to get a Rajya Sabha berth from UP, the SP, with 94 MLAs, was in a position to get Amar Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav through. But it needed the support of the Congress’s 21 MLAs to secure the third seat.
The BSP, with 217 legislators, has fielded six candidates but needs five extra votes from independents to get its sixth nominee in. The BJP has 51 MLAs and has so far fielded only one candidate.