V.C. Shukla wants to contest but can’t decide on what seatMarch 2nd, 2009 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, March 2 (IANS) In the last Lok Sabha elections, he contested on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket but lost to the Congress by over 100,000 votes. But never say die V.C. Shukla is back in the Congress fold and hoping to make it to parliament for the 10th time.
His only problem is that he can’t decide on what seat to contest from.
The nine-time Congress MP, who has served in several parties and rejoined the Congress for the fourth time late 2007, has been given a go-ahead by the party to contest the Lok Sabha polls. However, he is reluctant to stand from his favourite seat Mahasamund after bete noire Ajit Jogi gave him a drubbing in 2004.
“Congress has told him to get ready for the Lok Sabha battle and he is sure to contest but he is not sure about his seat,” an aide to Shukla told IANS. “The party wants to know if he wants to contest and he is zeroing in on Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon or Durg.”
The 80-year-old is running out of time because the party has advised him to state his choice as the Congress is in the final phase of drafting a panel of ticket aspirants for the state’s 11 seats.
Shukla refused to comment but his supporters said he was keen on Durg but was still indecisive because party leaders want an OBC (Other Backward Classes) from the constituency.
Shukla deserted the Congress for the first time in 1977 when prime minister Indira Gandhi was voted out. Her son and then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi rehabilitated him after his mother’s assassination in 1984 but Shukla again quit the party with V.P. Singh to form the Jan Morcha in 1989.
He joined the Samajwadi Janata Party when Chandra Shekhar became prime minister and rejoined the Congress when P.V. Narasimha Rao succeeded him. He left the Congress again in April 2003 after being denied the chief ministership of Chhattisgarh when it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.
Shukla joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in April 2003. He then joined the BJP on the eve of parliamentary polls in 2004 and left the BJP in September 2004 and rejoined Congress in late 2007, for the fourth time.