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Rediff.com  » News » In season of politics, Ahmed Patel may opt out of Rajya Sabha race

In season of politics, Ahmed Patel may opt out of Rajya Sabha race

April 13, 2011 12:26 IST
Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, who is considered more powerful than any central minister, has decided to not contest the Rajya Sabha elections, reports a New Delhi-based Hindi daily. 

Patel's third tenure in the Upper House ends in August this year.

Patel has opted out of the election despite the Congress having enough votes from Gujarat to ensure his re-election to the Upper House.

Naturally, his decision to not enter Parliament again has surprised many, and speculation is rife over the decision.

Patel, 62, has completed three tenures in the Lok Sabha and three tenures in the Rajya Sabha. The first time he was elected to the Lok Sabha was in 1977, the year of the Janata Party wave that unseated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Some observers believe that Patel is probably trying to match his moves with the party's future plans.

Since many years pressure has been increasing from within the Congress party to accommodate young blood in the Rajya Sabha.

It's very possible that Patel, who believes in keeping a low profile, wants to make way for the next generation within the party. His refusal to opt for a berth in the Rajya Sabha may be his way of making a quiet beginning to redefine his own position in changing times.

The Congress party is watching with keen interest Gandhi's confidant trying to get away from the Upper House. Some Congress watchers speculate Patel may be harbouring plans to nurture his own constituency back home in Gujarat. 
 
The final call on the issue is yet to be taken by Sonia Gandhi.

A Correspondent in New Delhi