Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to file his nomination on May 8 for his re-election to the Rajya Sabha from Assam when he pays a two day visit to the state. Singh, who has been representing the northeastern state since 1991, completes his six-year term in the Upper House on June 14. Election to the seat will take place on May 24.
Singh became Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha when he was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a third term in June 2001. Two years later, he became Prime Minister following Congress President Sonia Gandhi's refusal to hold that post.
Singh's election will come two days after he completes three years in office as Prime Minister. But there is no indication yet whether the occasion would be marked with fanfare or will be a low key celebration.
One senior leader, however, observed that much would depend on the Congress's performance in the assembly elections in UP, the key Hindi belt state that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Results of the UP elections would 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---to the combine when bargaining starts for the election of a new President.
Besides the Prime Minister's seat, election will also be held to fill another vacancy coming up in the Upper House from Assam and a casual vacancy in West Bengal.
Notification for the two elections to the Rajya Sabha will be issued on May 7 and nominations will close on May 14. Scrutiny will take place the following day. Withdrawals are permitted up to May 17. The election and the counting of votes will take place on May 24.