NEW DELHI: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has approved twelve names from his party to contest the biennial Rajya Sabha elections. This includes that of senior journalist Kumar Ketkar, with party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi to contest from West Bengal, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Lekhram Sahu, who will contest from Bihar and Chhattisgarh respectively.
The Trinamool Congress has already announced its support for Singhvi's candidature. Singhvi is representing the party in the Supreme Court in some high-profile cases. He also represents Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, in the INX Media case.
Naranbhai Rathwa and Amee Yajnik will contest from Gujarat, while Dhiraj Prasad will contest from Jharkhand.
Syed Naseer Hussain, L Hanumanthaiah and G.C. Chandrashekar will be contesting from Karnataka.
Rajmani Patel, Kumar Ketkar, Porika Bairam Naik and Abhishek Manu Singhvi are contesting from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal respectively.
Earlier on Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress will back Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The elections will be held on March 23 and the deadline for submission of nominations is March 12.
There will be 59 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in April, including 17 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 12 from the Congress party. Three nominated members - actor Rekha, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and social worker Anu Aga - will also be retiring then.
The election is slated on March 23 and the results will be out on the same day after 5 p.m.