JAIPUR: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could soon become a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan. The recent death of Madan Lal Saini, the BJP President in the state and a Rajya Sabha member, has created a vacancy in the Upper House from the desert state for which elections are bound to be held in the next few months.
After the Congress formed the government in the state last December, the party is keen to grab the vacancy -and this has set off a buzz that Dr Manmohan Singh could well be sent to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
Dr Manmohan Singh is a 5-time Rajya Sabha MP from Assam but his tenure ended on 14th June and he is currently not a member in either house of the parliament. Party sources say Dr Singh's name is being discussed among the top brass of the Congress. Earlier, the plan was reportedly to get Dr Singh to be elected as a Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu but as there was no agreement with the DMK, he may be fielded from the safe seat in Rajasthan where the Congress has a majority.
In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 100 MLAs of its own and the support of 12 Independents and even BSP and BTP MLAs are supporting the Congress in the state. In contrast, the BJP has just 72 MLAs in the state.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met the former Prime Minister at his residence on Monday after meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Dr Singh is trying to downplay the issue and arguing that even the elections have not been announced yet, his office termed his meeting with Gehlot as just a courtesy call. However, a minister in the Gehlot government has confirmed that discussion about sending Manmohan Singh from Rajasthan is very much on.