Nilekani may contest Lok Sabha elections on Congress ticket

Nandan Nilekani may fight Lok Sabha elections from a constituency in his home state, Karnataka.

BANGALORE: Nandan Nilekani, the former chairman of Infosys, may earn a Congress ticket for the upcoming general elections in 2014 and might fight elections from a constituency in his home state, Karnataka, an Economic Times report says.

The head of the Unique Identification Project (UID) was quoted by the newspaper as saying, "Although there is no final decision as yet, it is about making a choice at this stage. Getting into the mainstream and becoming one who can initiate change for the larger public good."

Giving strength to the report, a senior Congress leader was quoted by ET as saying, "Getting elected by popular vote will give him the extra legitimacy that needs to make a difference as a technocrat-politician."

The leader added although a Rajya Sabha membership for Nilekani is also a possibility a final call will be taken only after the assembly elections in the state in November.

Nilekani's administrative experience


Nilekani has had a brush with administration under the United Progressive Alliance 2 (UPA 2) government's flagship projects.

He was handpicked by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to join the administration post the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. It was then that he was bestowed with the UID project by the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Nilekani also later headed a Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) project, which will encourage cash transfer to welfare beneficiaries using an identification system based in UID, a system meant to benefit people in India's rural areas.

The two projects, considered to play a key role in UPA's campaigning plans for the upcoming elections, make Nilekani a key strategist in Congress plans, adds the ET report.

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