SP fields new face against Sonia in Rae Bareli
Lucknow, Apr 13: The ruling Samajwadi Party today virtually gave a walkover to AICC president Sonia Gandhi in the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha bypolls by fielding an unknown face in the elections to be held on May 8.
A local SP worker Raj Kumar Choudhury -- also the son-in-law of senior party leader and former union minister Beni Prasad Verma -- has been fielded by the party against the Congress leader.
Announcing the name of Mr Choudhury, party general secretary Amar Singh told mediapersons here that the SP candidate would certainly give a good fight and might surprise the poll pundits.
However, Mr Singh could not give any details about the candidate.
He only said that he is a youth and an active SP worker.
Ruling out the candidature of Ms Jaya Bachchan against Ms Sonia Gandhi, he said Ms Bachchan would go to Rajya Sabha. ''She would be re-elected to the upper house,'' he added.
''I appeal to the Election Commission to announce the Rajya Sabha byelection like they have done for the Rae Bareli poll, so that she could also attend the forthcoming session of Parliament,'' Mr Singh said.
To a query whether the SP was giving a walkover to Ms Gandhi, the SP leader said had the party leadership wanted him to contest he would have accepted it happily.
Commenting on the possibility of a joint candidate in Rae Bareli, he said: ''we cannot go with BJP at any cost due to ideological differences''.
Making a critical remark on the sacrifice made by Ms Sonia Gandhi by resigning from all posts of profit and the Lok Sabha, Mr Singh said he had also tried to make a sacrifice by resigning from RS but unfortunately his resignation was not accepted by party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Raj Kumar Chouhdury would be the third official candidate to contest from Rae Bareli. Besides him, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Uma Bharti's candidate Prabha Singh Lodh, fighting on an Apna Dal ticket, have announced their candidature.