Senior leaders, actors wanting to be politicians and party workers who have not had their hour of glory yet, are making a beeline for the Congress office in the hope of getting party nominations for the Rajya Sabha and legislative Council elections to be held next month.
Mumbai Congress President Kripashankar Singh, incumbent Member of Parliament Vijay Darda, party spokespersons Anant Gadgil and Hussain Dalwai, general secretary and Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Sanjay Dutt, women leaders Rajani Patil and Pushpa Bonde are among the 75 aspirants for both elections.
While elections to the six Rajya Sabha seats are scheduled for June 17, the 10 council seats go to poll on June 10.
The Congress is expected to join hands with ally, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), for the polls. The NCP is likely to win two Rajya Sabha seats and will try to win as many seats as the Congress in the council.
Sources said actor Nagma has been lobbying hard for a Rajya Sabha nomination.
“But she (Nagma) hasn't applied to the party so far,” a Congress leader said requesting anonymity.
The actor, who had had tried to get a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls last year, is banking on her minority status.
Many are discreet with the lobbying but Gadgil, a third generation Congressman from Pune, has made his intentions clear by writing an emotional letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders.
“I did not rebel in Lok Sabha polls because I was promised rehabilitation,” Gadgil wrote. He has never been given any ticket so far.
Members of the state legislature will vote in the elections. The Congress has the strength to win two Rajya Sabha seats. If stretched, the party can win four council seats, one more than the expected number.
Retired MPs and MLCs are pinning hopes on their godfathers in New Delhi. Darda, a media magnate, wants another term in the Rajya Sabha. Muzaffar Hussain and Sanjay Dutt are tipped to be certain candidates for the Council.
Dutt is also interested in going to Parliament.
Subodh Mohite, who had missed the Council nomination last time because of a flight delay, and Madhu Jain, who replaced him, have applied again.
A senior leader said, on condition of anonymity, that applications did not matter much in the Congress.
“The party high command will take a final decision. If it wishes, we may have outsiders as well,” he said.