The Congress and the BJP, given their respective strength in the Assembly
The Congress on Thursday declared 12 candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls, including party general secretary KC Venugopal, Deepender Hooda and senior Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi.
The Congress named Digvijaya Singh and Phool Singh Baraiya as candidates from Madhya Pradesh where a keen contest would take place in one out of three seats as the BJP has also announced two candidates — Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki.
The Congress and the BJP, given their respective strength in the Assembly, can ensure easy win for one candidate each, while a contest is on cards on the third seat.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi first approved the candidature of nine candidates for the March 26 Rajya Sabha polls, a party statement said.
Apart from Mr Singh and Mr Baraiya from Madhya Pradesh, the Congress named Tulsi and Phulo Devi Netam from Chhattisgarh, Shahzada Anwar from Jharkhand, Rajiv Satav from Maharashtra, Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi from Rajasthan and Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem from Meghalaya.
Later, the party issued another list of three more candidates — Mr Hooda from Haryana, and Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki from Gujarat.
The party has opted for a young face in Deepender Hooda, the son of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, instead of senior leader and former Union minister Kumari Selja from the state.
Earlier in the day, when asked about the Rajya Sabha nominations, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was up to the Congress president to decide who will go to the Upper House and who will not.
"Personally I am not a contender for any post…I believe that there are many people who want to go to Rajya Sabha, but the party is like a mother and the party is bigger than the post," he told reporters.
He said everyone should accept the decision of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and serve the party.