|Early Times Report |
Jammu, May 18: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's return to the House of Elders, Rajya Sabha, as a member from Assam is unlikely as the Congress party, also called the "Grand Old Party of India", does not have the requisite strength in the state assembly to send him to the Upper House of the parliament again.
Manmohan Singh's tenure as the member of the Rajya Sabha from Assam will come to an end on 14 June after which he will have to seek a re-election for the seat.
The Election Commission has announced June 7 as the day of election for the Rajya Sabha seat, while the last date of nomination is 28 May.
As per reports, "the Congress lacks the number in the Assam assembly to secure a win for the former PM, and, therefore, would not like to take a risk". "The Congress only has 25 MLAs in the 126-member Assam Assembly while it needs at least 43 first-preference votes for bagging the seat. Even if the party gets the support of 13 MLAs of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), it falls short of five MLAs," the reports have further said.
"We don't have the numbers on our own and it is not advisable to field a leader of such senior stature when our numbers are not certain," Debabrata Saikia, leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the Assam Assembly, was quoted as saying.
Another problem facing the Congress is that it cannot send the former Prime Minister to Rajya Sabha even from Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan despite having numbers. There are no immediate vacancies available in these states.
"If Manmohan Singh is not fielded in July then the next lot of vacancies will come up only in April 2020 when 55 members will retire from several states, including the Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh," reports further suggested.
This is the situation. There was a time when the Congress would rule the whole of the country and do whatever it wanted. And today, the situation is that it fails to find even one seat in Rajya Sabha and that too for Manmohan Singh, who led the Government of India for ten long years.