Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will go to Assam for two days on Tuesday to file his nomination for his re-election to the Rajya Sabha from Assam. The election, which will take place on May 24.
In keeping with the new law, Singh will also file an affidavit declaring his assets and liabilities when he seeks a fourth consecutive six-year term in the Upper House from the north eastern state.
Singh became Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha when he entered the House for his third term in 2001. Two years later he became Prime Minister after Congress president Sonia Gandhi declined to hold that post.
Singh’s present term ends on June 14.Significantly, the election to fill the vacancy comes two days after Singh completes three years in office as prime minister.
Sources said there is no indication yet whether the completion the UPA’s third year in office would be marked by fanfare or it would remain a low-key celebratory function in keeping with his style. But a press conference by the PM and a dinner for UPA allies and supporting parties is likely to take place.
According to one view in the party, much would depend also on the party’s performance in the assembly elections in UP, the key Hindi belt state that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Results of the polls will be announced on May 11.
Any improvement in the party’s tally in the backdrop of the campaign led by Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi in the state would translate into a show of exuberance within the Congress and the UPA and give a psychological and perhaps even a numerical boost in the bargaining that would accompany the election of a new President in the country.
Besides the Prime Minister’s seat, the election for another Rajya Sabha seat from the state represented by Indramoni Bora will also take place on May 24. The casual vacancy caused by the death of CPM leader Chittabrata Majumdar in West Bengal will also be filled the same day.
Notification for the election to the Rajya Sabha vacancies will be issued on May 7. The last day for filing nominations is May 14. The scrutiny of papers will take place the following day. Withdrawals of candidatures are permitted upto May 17 while counting will take place on May 24.