This month three seats will be filled from Gujarat -- includes two from the BJP and one from the Congress.
Although Ahmed Patel, political secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has stated on the record that he would like to opt out of the race, a senior office-bearer from the Gujarat unit of the Congress party told rediff.com, "We have one vacancy in the RS and in all likelihood Patel will be re-elected. There is no other name so far suggested to us for the seat. We believe Ahmedbhai will be re-nominated for the fourth time."
Patel has completed three stints in the Lok Sabha and three in the RS.
Sitharaman's nomination is a surprise because since long many RS vacancies from Gujarat are filled by non-Gujaratis like Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.
A senior Congress leader from Gujarat told rediff.com, "Considering that Narendra Modi is one of the strongest chief ministers that Gujarat has ever seen, the frequent nomination of non-Gujaratis to the Rajya Sabha shows that even in the BJP the party high command of New Delhi dominates in certain issues."
In fact, Sitharaman has been getting unusual exposure in the Gujarati press these days. In one of the friendly profile pieces, she said she was like "a dew drop" on the BJP's lotus.
After completing her schooling and graduation from Trichy in Tamil Nadu, Sitharaman did her post-graduation from Jawaharlal Nehru University. For a few years she was to London with her economist husband Parakala Prabhakar, where she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a researcher and even did a stint in BBC.
After returning from London she was nominated to the National Commission for Women. During that time she came in touch with Sushma Swaraj who impressed her so much that she got drawn to the BJP in spite of her family having been linked to the Congress since many years.There is no doubt that if she gets nominated from Gujarat, with the help of the BJP "high command", it will fast-forward her political career which is not even a decade-old.