Cong OBCs, Muslims, brahmins eye RS seats
May 17th, 2010 -- Age Correspondent | New Delhi
OBCs, Muslims and brahmins in the Maharashtra Congress are staking
claim to the Rajya Sabha seats suggesting that the high command should
consider non-Marathas for the Upper House this time. The chief
minister and the PCC chief are said to have advised the aspirants to
lobby hard in New Delhi rather than wasting their time in Mumbai.
The biennial election to the Rajya Sabha, also known as the Council of
States, from Maharashtra would be held next month for six seats.
The term of sitting MPs from Maharashtra — Mr Vijay Darda(Congress),
Mr Rahul Bajaj (Independent), Mr Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Mr Tariq
Anwar (NCP), Mr Sharad Joshi (Swantra Bharat Paksha) — expires in
Jully. The sixth seat, which is lying vacant, is due to the
resignation of Mr Shivraj Patil on January 21 this year following his
appointment as a governor.
Among the non-Marathas, Mr Uttamsingh Pawar (OBC), Mr Hussain Dalwai
(Muslim), Mr Anant Gadgil (brahmin) are aspiring for RS nominations.
Mr Pawar, who had earlier won the Lok Sabha elections twice since
1996, lost the 2009 election from Aurangabad because of the Maratha
factor. The majority community had voted in favour of an Independent
candidate who was never in politics. The case of Mr Dalwai is
different. He was the MLC when he joined the Congress, became minister
but then failed to get the party nomination for the state legislature
or Parliament. Mr Gadgil has been the PCC spokesperson but continues
to be isolated. He is a traditional Congressman. His father, the late
V.N. Gadgil, had occupied different positions in the party and was the
Union minister while his grandfather N.V. Gadgil was the freedom
fighter and had worked with Jawaharlal Nehru. But despite this legacy,
Mr Gadgil remained out of power for long.
According to sources, chief minister Ashok Chavan is pressing for
former MP Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, a known loyalist of the late S.B.
Chavan. But insiders held him responsible for the defeat of
Congress-NCP backed Independent candidate Ramdas Athavale from the
Shirdi Lok Sabha seat last year. Besides, he had joined the Shiv Sena
and became Union minister in the Vajpayee government.
Among women, former MP and Mahila Congress leader Rajani Patil too is
considered a strong aspirant for the Upper House. But she too became a
The Congress can win two seats of the total six this time.
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