Voices of discontent 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. According to the list of candidates released by the party, 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.