Nitish 'authorised' by JD(U) to decide RS poll candidate

PTI | Patna | Updated: 20-05-2022 20:31 IST | Created: 20-05-2022 20:31 IST
Nitish 'authorised' by JD(U) to decide RS poll candidate
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was on Friday “authorised” by his Janata Dal (United) to take a call on the party candidate for the upcoming biennial Rajya Sabha elections in the state.

Elections to five seats in the Upper House of Parliament from Bihar are due early next month. The JD(U) had held two of these seats though it may have to settle for one this time on account of its diminished strength in the state assembly.

Ministers and MLAs of the party made a beeline to the chief minister’s official residence in the afternoon, fuelling all sorts of speculations on a day when the state’s political atmosphere was highly charged on account of CBI raids in connection with yet another corruption case filed against Kumar’s arch-rival, RJD president Lalu Prasad.

“All ministers and MLAs, including those who were out of Patna for some reason, have given their consent to authorise the chief minister for deciding the candidate for the Rajya Sabha election,” Information and Public Relations Department Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, who is also a national general secretary of the JD(U), told PTI over phone.

Outside Nitish Kumar’s residence, journalists posed questions to Shravan Kumar, another minister known to be close to the CM, about perceived doubts over Union minister RCP Singh being considered for another term in the Rajya Sabha. “We have all unanimously authorised the chief minister to take any decision. We will abide by whatever he decides,” the minister said.

A former IAS officer who owes his meteoric rise in the JD(U) to his proximity to the chief minister, RCP Singh needs to be re-elected to Parliament in order to remain a member of the Union cabinet.

There have been speculations that Singh, who was the party’s national president until his induction into the cabinet last year, may face some difficulties in getting considered for another term.

It is believed that Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, the current JD(U) president who is himself an old aide of Kumar but unlike RCP Singh has been active in politics for several decades, does not share a good equation with the latter.

It is also believed that Lalan, who is the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, felt slighted when RCP, his Rajya Sabha counterpart, was chosen for a cabinet post.

The Munger MP, who was a powerful minister in the state until being elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019, is said to have been hopeful of a cabinet berth for himself and Kumar had reportedly lobbied hard to facilitate induction of both RCP and Lalan.

The BJP, which enjoys a brute majority on its own in Parliament, has followed the principle of accommodating allies with a token representation and it was apparently in no mood to give more leeway to the JD(U).

Of the two Rajya Sabha seats held by JD(U), for which elections are due shortly, one was occupied by RCP Singh while the other has been vacant for nearly five years following the disqualification of veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav.

The BJP, which holds two of the remaining seats, is expected to retain both without much difficulty.

The RJD, which held only one seat, may be able to clinch another by virtue of its improved strength in the assembly. The re-election of Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti is being seen as a foregone conclusion but there seems to be no consensus on the candidate for the second seat.

A meeting of the RJD parliamentary board held earlier this week had, similarly, authorised Prasad to decide the candidates.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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