Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for a Rajya Sabha membership as a seat in Rajasthan has fallen vacant following the death of Madan Lal Saini, the BJP state President.
The by-election for the seat shall be held on August 26. The last date to file nomination paper is August 14 and the last date to withdraw name is August 19, said an Election Commission officer.
Manmohan Singh, 86, was accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and senior Congress leader Avinash Pandey when he filed his papers.
Gehlot accorded a warm welcome to Singh when he landed here in the morning. Manmohan Singh has been a Congress Rajya Sabha member from Assam for almost three decades. His tenure ended on June 14.
If Manmohan Singh is elected from Rajasthan, he will be a Rajya Sabha member till April 3, 2024. The Congress enjoys a majority in the state Assembly, thereby making it easy for Manmohan Singh to win the by-election.
The Rajasthan assembly has 200 seats, two of which are vacant. The Congress has 100 MLAs while its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one seat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 72, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 6 while the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), CPI-M and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) have two members each.
Thirteen MLAs are independents and two seats are vacant. The Congress has the support of 12 of the 13 independents as well as the BSP legislators.