Madhya Pradesh Congress fields its candidate as independent

March 15th, 2008 - 1:17 am ICT by admin  

Bhopal, March 14 (IANS) Caught in the number game, Madhya Pradesh’s main opposition Congress party had to field its candidate for the Rajya Sabha, former advocate general Vivek Tankha, as an independent Friday. Three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh are falling vacant. They are at present with Suresh Pachouri of the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Maya Singh and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Obaidullah Azmi.

The BJP, which has 166 MLAs in the house of 230, is all set to get its two nominees elected to the upper house. The Congress’ plans to field Tankha as its party candidate failed to take off as the SP Thursday refused to support either a BJP or a Congress candidate.

“We have decided not to support candidates of the BJP or the Congress. We would either field or support an independent candidate who may garner support from the BJP and Congress legislators,” said Sunilam, SP’s leader in the state assembly.

The BJP needs eight more legislators to bag all the three seats. Similarly, the Congress has 41 seats and needs the support of 17 more to get its candidate elected. Other parties have 23 members.

“We will easily get the support of required 17 MLAs”, said Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi. She, however, refused to comment on why Tankha has been fielded as an independent.

Meanwhile, Tankha filed his nomination papers in the presence of MLAs from the SP, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) besides those of the Congress.

The newly appointed state Congress president Suresh Pachouri was also present on the occasion.

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