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New Delhi: Congress parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi will not contest this Lok Sabha election. Twenty-five years after her first term in the Lower House of Parliament, she filed her nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on Wednesday. Gandhi, who represented Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha, was first elected as an MP in 1999 after taking over as the Congress president. The seat in Rajasthan will fall vacant in April after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s term comes to an end.

Party treasurer Ajay Maken has been fielded from Karnataka and Abhishek Singhvi from Himachal Pradesh. The Congress party is in government in both Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Maken had unsuccessfully contested the Rajya Sabha elections from Haryana last year. Singhvi will file his nomination for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, state chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said. Senior party leader and former Union minister Anand Sharma was also seeking a Rajya Sabha berth from Himachal Pradesh, which is his home



state.

The Congress also nominated former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury as the Rajya Sabha candidate from Telangana, along with local leader M. Anil Kumar Yadav from the southern state where the party came into power in December. The Congress also renominated Syed Naseer Hussain, who is a coordinator in the office of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. This will be Mr Hussain's second term as a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.

According to a statement, the party has also renominated its Bihar unit chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh from the state. He filed his nomination on Tuesday. The Congress leader from Karnataka G.C. Chandrasekhar has also been renominated by the party in the list announced on Wednesday. From Madhya Pradesh, the party has fielded local leader Ashok Singh. It has named Chandrakant Handore as its candidate from Maharashtra. The biennial elections to fill 56 seats in the Rajya Sabha will be held on February 27. 

The last date for filing nominations is February 15.




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