No outsiders in the ring please, say Congress state leaders
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One of the names in the reckoning from the state is that of former UGC chairman Sukhdev Thorat
Congress leaders in the state are voicing dissent against fielding candidates from outside Maharashtra in the by-elections to the Rajya Sabha seat that had fallen vacant after the demise of Vilasrao Deshmukh.
January 2 is the last date for filing nomination papers for the January 12 polls.
A senior MPCC leader said, "The state leaders have conveyed to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre that he should impress upon the AICC to give preference to local leadership in the Rajya Sabha."
Several contenders are likely to be from outside the state.
Highly placed sources in the MPCC admitted, "There is a long list of probable candidates whose names have been suggested to the AICC including filmstar-turned-Congress-activist Nagma."
One of the names in the reckoning from the state is that of former University Grants Commission chairman Sukhdev Thorat. Local leaders are, however, dismissing his candidature on the grounds that he should be considered in the presidential nomination category and pave the way for the political worker who has contributed to the organisational work for decades.
The by-election to the Rajya Sabha has been necessitated following the death of former union minister for science and technology Vilasrao Deshmukh.
The state unit argued, "Earlier, the state had to accommodate Rajiv Shukla (from outside the state) for the Rajya Sabha seat from its quota. As a result the local Congress candidate was deprived of the seat in the House of the elders." Although cricker Sachin Tendulkar and actor Rekha hails from Maharashtra, they had not been elected but nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
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