Congress leader Pradeep Tamta is set to be elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand after alliance partner the Progressive Democratic Front decided to withdraw from the fray, averting fresh trouble for the Rawat government.
The naming of former parliamentarian Tamta, known to be close to chief minister Harish Rawat, had not gone down well with alliance partner PDF and senior cabinet minister Yashpal Arya.
PDF lawmaker Dinesh Dhane softened stand hours before the Tuesday deadline for filing the nominations for the June 11 elections was to end. Till Monday night, Dhane appeared firm on contesting the election for the Upper House of Parliament but changed his mind after Rawat’s lieutenants met him next morning.
There were reports that the Congress leadership may change the candidate to avoid fresh trouble in the state, where its government recently survived a rebellion by nine MLAs.
But, the leadership chose to go with Tamta. The 57-year-old will file the election papers in the presence of Rawat and Arya, who backed down on Monday after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. He “conveyed his feelings to the Congress president” and she was “sympathetic” to him, Arya said.
The BJP, the single largest party in the assembly with 27 MLAs, is not contesting the election.