Rajya Sabha poll: Resentment as UP MP fielded from Assam

Guwahati, Jan 28 (IANS) Sanjay Singh, a Lok Sabha member of the Congress from Sultanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Tuesday filed nomination papers for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats in Assam, leading to resentment among many Congress leaders in the state.

Singh arrived in Guwahati Monday evening after the Congress decided to field him for one Rajya Sabha seat from Assam. He filed his nomination papers for the upper house of parliament Tuesday, accompanied by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Asked if Assam has become a “dumping ground” for fielding controversial candidates of the Congress for the Rajya Sabha, Gogoi said the Congress was a national-level political party and “this happens in all national parties”.
“All my MLAs have decided to follow the Congress high command’s decision and they have decided to support Singh,” Gogoi said.
After filing his nomination papers, Singh told the media he was “a disciplined soldier of the Congress party”.
“My high command asked me to file nomination from Assam and so I have come. I am obliged to get an opportunity to serve the people of Assam,” he said.
Gogoi said Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhubaneswar Kalita will also file his nomination papers for the second seat to the Rajya Sabha.
Biswajit Daimary, leader of the Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) – a partner of the ruling Congress – filed his nomination papers Monday.
Gogoi said the alliance will win all three seats this time.
The three seats will fall vacant in April. They are currently held by state Congress president Kalita, Daimary and Birendra Prasad Baishya of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
However, the decision to field Singh is said to have offended many Congress leaders in the state.
“It is shocking to hear that the AICC wants Sanjay Singh to contest the Rajya Sabha polls from Assam. The AICC’s decision is likely to deprive Congress leaders in Assam who have been working for the party for so many years and expecting to make it to the Rajya Sabha,” a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.
The opposition parties, including the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the AGP, and the BJP decided to support a consensus candidate for one Rajya Sabha seat.
Haider Hussain, former editor of vernacular daily Asomiya Pratidin, Tuesday filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate and is likely to be supported by the opposition parties.
The Congress has 80 legislators, its ally BPF has 12, the AIUDF has 18 and the AGP has nine legislators. The BJP has five legislators in the assembly followed by two Independents and one from Trinamool Congress.