Voices of discontent have emerged from the Congress after the party announced 10 candidates for the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls with actress-turned-politician Nagma Morarji raising questions over the candidatures.
The Congress on Sunday announced candidates for the polls, fielding former Union ministers P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken as well as party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday night, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera tweeted, "Shayad meri tapasya mein kuch kami reh gayi (Maybe my penance fell short)."
However, he posted another tweet in the morning, asserting that the Congress has given him his identity.
"I am not only in agreement with this view of mine but also stand by it," he said, tagging one of his tweets a few days ago in which he had said Congress leaders must not forget that their identity was because of the party.
Khera congratulated those whose candidature has been approved by the party.
Morarji made her disappointment clear as she responded to Khera's tweet on penance, saying, "My 18 years of penance fell short before Imran bhai (Imran Pratapgarhi, who has been fielded from Maharashtra)
"Sonia Ji our Congress president had personally committed to accommodating me in RS in 2003/04 when I joined Congress party on her behest we weren't in power then. Since then it's been 18Yrs they didn't find an opportunity Mr Imran is accommodated in RS from Maha. I ask am I less deserving," she tweeted.
She, however, also congratulated those fielded by the party in the Rajya Sabha polls.
Responding to Morarji's tweet, Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam said in a tweet that the penance of Salman Khurshid, Tariq Anwar and Ghulam Nabi Azad was of over 40 years, but they too were "martyred".
"'Suppression' of talent is a 'suicidal step' for the party," he said in another tweet in Hindi.
Rajasthan's Independent MLA from Sirohi Sanyam Lodha was scathing in his criticism of the party.
"The Congress party should tell what is the reason for not making any Congress leader/worker from Rajasthan, a candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections?" he wrote in a tweet in Hindi and tagged Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
A former Congress leader Lodha had contested the 2018 assembly elections as an independent candidate after the party denied him a ticket.
Reacting to his tweet, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said that no one knows better than Lodha the pain of giving Rajya Sabha election ticket to outsiders because the Congress has denied ticket to him every time.
“My friend, you said in the House (assembly) that you are a slave of the Gandhi-Nehru family and always wanted to do slavery. Who gave slave the right to ask questions? No one knows better than you the pain of giving Rajya Sabha election ticket to outsiders because Congress party has denied you ticket every time,” he tweeted.
Another senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said the decision of giving tickets to outsides will have an adverse impact for the party next year.
“Before choosing the candidate of Rajya Sabha, the high command should have thought of the next assembly elections in Rajasthan. The approach of the high command should have been of selecting locals, balancing the social engineering in order to garner public support in favour of the party in next elections,” he said, adding, the current selection will not be helping the party at all.
“The selection has come as a disappointment for leaders and workers in the state,” another leader said.
He said locals leader can effectively raise the issues of the state in the upper house.
Targeting the ruling Congress, Rajasthan BJP chief spokesperson and MLA Ramlal Sharma said there is not a single candidate out of the three announced by the Congress who has any relation with Rajasthan.
He said the Congress has worked to hurt the sentiments of the residents of Rajasthan.
“One of these three candidates has set a record of losing elections many times. There is no identity and no respect for qualified persons in the Congress and this is the main reason for the current situation of the party,” Sharma said.
According to the list of candidates released by the Congress, Chidambaram was fielded from Tamil Nadu, Ramesh from Karnataka, Maken from Haryana and Surjewala from Rajasthan.
The party also fielded Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari from Rajasthan, Vivek Tankha from Madhya Pradesh, Rajeev Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan from Chhattisgarh and Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra.
The party has opted for 'outsiders' in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the two states in which the party is in power on its own.
The Congress is likely to get 10 Rajya Sabha seats in the upcoming election cycle.
Elections will be held on June 10 to fill 57 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states falling vacant due to the retirement of members on different dates between June and August. The last date for filing nominations is May 31.
Elections to four seats of Rajya Sabha will be held on June 10 for which the Congress has nominated senior leaders Mukul Wasnik, Pramod Tiwari and Randeep Singh Surjewala while BJP has given ticket to former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari.