UDF to nominate A.K. Antony, M.P. Veerendra Kumar to Rajya Sabha

Thiruvananthapuram, March 7 (IANS) Congress leader A.K. Antony and M.P. Veerendra Kumar of the JD(U) will file their nominations for the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, United Democratic Front (UDF) convener P.P. Thankachen said on Monday.

Both the politicians belong to the UDF, the ruling coalition in Kerala.

Three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala will fall vacant this month; the elections for the new members will be held on March 21.

Given its strength in the Kerala assembly, the Congress-led UDF will be able to get two seats and the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) one.

The LDF has yet to name its candidate.

Antony, 75, has served two consecutive terms since 2005 in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. He was also Rajya Sabha member from 1993 to 1995. He is now seeking another term.

He is a member of the Congress Working Committee, which is the top executive body of the party, and served three terms as chief minister of Kerala. He was also Union defence minister in the previous government of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

M.P. Veerendra Kumar, 79, is the leader of the Janata Dal (United) in Kerala and also a media baron, heading the Mathrubhumi group.

He was a member of the Kerala assembly once and was elected to the Lok Sabha twice. He changed sides from LDF to UDF ahead of the Lok Sabha election in 2009.

Kumar lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the Palakkad seat in Kerala.

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