Senior Congress leaders AK Antony, Oscar Fernandes and Anand Sharma are likely to be re-nominated to the Rajya Sabha as the biennial elections for 13 seats in six states will be held on March 21.
While Antony will be the Congress candidate from Kerala, Fernandes and Sharma will be re-nominated from Karnataka and Himchal Pradesh respectively.
However, there is no clarity yet on the candidature of former Union minister Ashwani Kumar from Punjab but his colleague MS Gill is unlikely to be re-nominated from the state.
Out of the 13 seats, five are currently with the Congress, two each with the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and three with the CPI(M).
In Punjab, five seats are falling vacant, two each belonging to the Congress and the SAD with the BJP holding one. Election to the lone seat from Nagaland, belonging to the Nagaland People’s Front, will also be held on March 21. There are three vacancies in Kerala, two held by the CPI(M) and one by the Congress. In Assam, both the seats falling vacant now belong to the Congress, while in Himachal Pradesh the sole seat falling vacant is currently being held by the BJP.
In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF government has offered one seat to the Janata Dal (United) in a bid to prevent the party from moving to the Left camp. MP Veerendrakumar, who lost to CPI(M)’s MB Rajesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Palakkad, will be the JD(U) candidate.