The Congress has informally decided to field party MPs Sudharshan Nachiappan or Shantaram Naik for the post of Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha if P J Kurien offers to quit over allegations of being involved in a 1996 rape case in Kerala, informed sources told Rediff.com.
The Congress, however, does not want to offer this post to either Samajwadi Party or Bahujan Samaj Party, even though the party does not have sufficient numbers to get the position.
Nachiappan is now in his second term as Rajya Sabha member from Tamil Nadu, and shall hold office as MP till June 2016 -- say another three years.
Shantaram Naik’s RS term is till mid 2017.
It is for the All India Congress Committee and party chief Sonia Gandhi to identify the successor of P J Kurien.
It will be difficult for the Congress to convince the opposition if the latter insists for a contest, as the BJP accommodated Kurien to get him elected unopposed. But now the political scenario is different and there is a possibility of give and take between the BJP and Congress.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath will have to play a crucial role to get the Congress nominee elected as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.