Former PM Manmohan Singh to re-enter Rajya Sabha through Rajasthan
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Former PM Manmohan Singh to re-enter Rajya Sabha through Rajasthan

By TOI calender  25-Aug-2019

Former PM Manmohan Singh to re-enter Rajya Sabha through Rajasthan

Former PM Manmohan Singh would be Congress’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan for the by-election on a vacant seat from the state for which polling would be held on August 26, party sources said. Singh is likely to sail through as Congress and its allies have 107 MLAs against 74 of BJP and its allies in the assembly that presently has 198 members. Independents and others account for the remaining 17 MLAs. Congress is yet to officially announce Singh’s candidature but the state unit is bracing up for the bypoll given the edge that the party has in the assembly.

The bypoll has been necessitated following the death of the sitting BJP member Madan Lal Saini in June. Saini was elected in March 2018 and his six-year term would have ended on April 3, 2024. The former PM was Rajya Sabha MP from Assam for 28 years and had retired in June this year. He could not be fielded from the north-eastern state after Congress’s rout in the last assembly elections. Rajasthan has 10 Rajya Sabha seats, of which nine are currently with BJP. If Singh wins, Congress will break BJP’s clean sweep of Rajya Sabha seats from the state. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot had separately called on Singh at his residence in Delhi last month.

Election Commission announced the date for the bypoll on Thursday. Notification for the election will be issued on August 7, while the last date for nominations is August 14. Scrutiny of nominations will take place on August 16 and the last date for withdrawing the nominations is August 19. Counting of votes will begin soon after the polling on August 26. The 100-member Congress in Rajasthan assembly has a pre-poll alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal, which has one member, and a post-poll alliance with BSP, which has six MLAs.

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