Clamour for Priyanka
The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government is in deep crisis. However, there are party leaders in the state who have demanded that General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (pictured) be nominated from the state for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. Similar demands have come up in Maharashtra. Party insiders say Vadra, along with brother Rahul Gandhi, then can reach out to other opposition leaders better. Currently, senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, and Ahmed Patel, all Rajya Sabha members, take care of consultations with opposition leaders. This would also help Rahul's plan for a generational shift in the Rajya Sabha as well. Many in the party expect him to return as the party chief by the end of the year.
With the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections two years away, the Congress is pulling out all the stops to re-energise its ranks and harmonise the efforts of youth leaders with the party’s old guard. Last year, the party had expelled 10 elders, including AICC member Santosh Singh and former UP legislator Siraj Mehndi, for alleged indiscipline and not cooperating with the state team formed by General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. After expulsion, they had alleged the grand old party was being run as a "private limited company" by a handful of neo-Congress leaders. Now, according to insiders, the party is planning to re-induct the "rebels" to defuse the crisis, especially after the former UP president of the Youth Congress, along with his band of supporters, joined the Aam Aadmi Party last month.
A melange of candidates
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which is in power in Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday announced its four candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls in the state. These included industrialist Parimal Nathwani. He was an independent Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand and won in 2014 with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Nathwani works for Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. He met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy and thanked him for announcing his candidacy. “Discussed at length with him various issues concerning the state (Andhra Pradesh),” Nathwani tweeted. The YSRCP also announced three other candidates — Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, and realtor Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy.