Congress’s Kerala unit refuses to accept Krishnan’s nomination for Rajya Sabha seat


Congress’s Kerala unit has refused to accept Sreenivasan Krishnan’s nomination for a Rajya Sabha seat from the state, people aware of the matter said. K Sudhakaran, the state Congress chief, has informed the leadership he prefers a young leader and suggested former state Youth Congress chief M Liju’s name. Sudhakaran, who is in Delhi, said a decision will be taken by Friday.

Veterans such as former minister K V Thomas have staked a claim for the seat and met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. It has also been proposed to send a woman leader to the Parliament’s upper house.

Krishnan, 58, is close to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra. The party leadership suggested his name on Wednesday but the state unit opposed his candidature. Krishnan is from Thrissur and is the in-charge of Telangana.

“It seems the party is yet to learn from its mistakes. We will not allow nomination politics anymore. Come what may, a leader from the state will go to the upper house not the nominated one,” said a Congress leader, who did not want to be named. Congress leader K Muraleedharan has written to Sonia Gandhi saying someone who has unsuccessfully contested elections should not be considered for the Rajya Sabha berth. Liju unsuccessfully contested the last two assembly elections.

Three Kerala Rajya Saha seats were vacated last month with the retirements including of Congress’s A K Antony. Going by the strength of political parties in the assembly, the ruling alliance can get two and Opposition Congress one seat. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India have named A A Rahim and P Santosh Kumar as their candidates.

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