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    Congress looks to send mix of young and experienced to Rajya Sabha

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    The Congress would attempt to strike a balance between the experienced and the young while selecting its candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha (RS) elections for 55 seats in 17 states to be held on March 26, a party functionary said.

    Different caste equations would also be taken into consideration, he added.

    Motilal Vora (Chhattisgarh), Digvijaya Singh (Madhya Pradesh), Kumari Selja (Haryana), KVP Ramachandra Rao (Telangana), T Subbarami Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) Madhusudan Mistry (Gujarat), Hussain Dalwai (Maharashtra) and Viplove Thakur (Himachal Pradesh) are among the Congress leaders in the Upper House of Parliament, whose six-year tenure ends next month.

    Altogether, the term of 51 RS members ends next month along with four vacancies in the Upper House.

    Seven seats will go to polls in Maharashtra, followed by six in Tamil Nadu, five each in West Bengal and Bihar, four each in Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Assam, two each in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Jharkhand and one each in Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.

    Another Congress functionary said though there have been demands from several state units that party general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, should be sent to the RS, the final call would be taken by the party high command.

    In Rajasthan, senior leader, Rameshwar Lal Dudi, could be one of the candidates, a functionary said, adding the party is yet to decide on the other name but insisted that the probable has to be someone acceptable to both chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, and his deputy and state unit president, Sachin Pilot.

    Similarly, the party may renominate Selja from Haryana.

    The Congress will draw a blank in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.

    If the Congress and the Left parties close ranks in West Bengal, then they could wrest a solitary seat, while the ruling Trinamool Congress is set to bag the remaining four.

    In Bihar and Tamil Nadu, the Congress is likely to support allies the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), respectively. But some Congress leaders are hopeful that the DMK might offer one seat to their party in the southern state.

    There has been a growing demand within the Congress to give some young leaders the chance along with the seniors in a bid to send a mix of experienced and young members to the Upper House.

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