LUCKNOW: With poll schedule for 11 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh out, hectic parleys have begun within the Samajwadi Party to shortlist the three candidates who will be in the fray to make it to the Upper House.
While former Union minister Kapil Sibal is among the frontrunners, discussions are also under way on the candidature of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary. Some party leaders have also proposed the name of Dimple Yadav, former Kannauj MP and wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
A few Muslim leaders within the SP are of the view that the leadership should name a Muslim candidate for the Rajya Sabha to reaffirm the party’s faith in the community and send across a message that they are not forgotten. Party strategists are keen on naming a Muslim candidate.
Meanwhile, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar is also believed to be looking forward to a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav on the issue. However, as the former CM is busy with the ongoing assembly session, the meeting has not taken place so far.
The possibilities of Sibal’s name as the SP’s choice for Rajya Sabha has gained momentum ever since the Supreme Court lawyer took up Azam Khan ’s case in the apex court and finally got him out last week.
“If he (Sibal) managed to pursue Azam Khan’s bail successfully and got the party veteran out of jail, the party should send him to the Upper House,” said a senior party leader.
Khan has already come out in support of SP and understandably so. “I will be the happiest person if SP is thinking of fielding him (Sibal) as a party candidate for Rajya Sabha. He is competent and deserves it,” Khan said on Tuesday.
Party sources are of the view that Sibal’s candidature from SP is unlikely to meet any hurdles unless he himself opts for any other state.
There were reports that Sibal might also take the Jharkhand route as a Congress-backed candidate with the support of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the party in power.
Chances of a Congress-backed candidate are better as the party is in alliance with the ruling JMM and can win the seat. Last time, the Congress had conceded the seat to JMM and this time the grand old party is said to be claiming the seat for itself.
Though the name of former Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav has been suggested by some loyalists, the SP leadership is yet to give a serious thought to it. Political observers feel it would be interesting to see if the SP chief, who has been very categorical in keeping the Yadav clan away from politics and recently held assembly elections, would agree to the proposal.
There were strong indications that the party may name a Muslim candidate while lobbying is also underway for RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary. SP leadership is keen on sending Chaudhary to Rajya Sabha. The party is also likely to consider Jayant’s choice to get four members into the state assembly through the council route that will open up within the next couple of months.