Ending speculation, Congress on Friday decided to vote for noted lawyer R K Anand who is pitted against BJP-sponsored independent candidate and media baron Subhash Chandra in the election to Rajya Sabha from Haryana.
Polling for the biennial election to the Upper House will be held on Saturday.
Of the two seats from Haryana, Union minister Birender Singh is set to win from one seat while INLD-backed independent Anand and Chandra are vying for the second.
“Haryana Congress leaders at a meeting today authorised the Congress President to take a decision on voting in the Rajya Sabha polls. Congress then decided to vote against the BJP-sponsored Chandra and in favour of R K Anand,” said AICC General Secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Haryana B K Hariprasad.
The meeting was attended by party MLAs from Haryana including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, besides state unit chief Ashok Tanwar.
Anand on Friday sprang a surprise by turning up at the Congress meeting and expressing his faith in the leadership.
“I have full faith in Congress’ policies and full faith in leadership and policies of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I will support Congress on the floor of the House. I have always fought against RSS’ policies and it will continue in the future also,” Anand said.
At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said Anand reached out to the party leadership and promised to work for the Congress both inside and outside Parliament.
Congress has not put up its own candidate. In the absence of its own candidate, the party was in a dilemma as in case it chose to vote it will have to side with a candidate backed by either BJP or INLD and if it abstains, it will provide a clear advantage to the BJP-backed Chandra.
BJP has 47 MLAs in the 90-member Assembly, INLD 19, Congress 17 (Kuldeep Bishnoi’s two-member HJC merged with Congress recently), BSP one, SAD one and there are five Independents.
Chandra had said that he was in touch with individual MLAs in the Assembly and exuded confidence that he will have a comfortable victory.