Hectic lobbying for five Rajya Sabha seats begins in Bihar | Patna News

PATNA: The biennial election to five Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, to be held June 10, has triggered hectic lobbying in the state’s political circles in Patna.
Five vacancies from Bihar will be created in the Rajya Sabha on July 7 this year following the scheduled retirementPatna, Bihar news, Patna headlines, Patna news today, Patna news
of Gopal Narayan Singh, Satish Chandra Dubey (both from BJP), Misa Bharti (RJD), Ramchandra Prasad Singh (JD-U) and Sharad Yadav (his seat is vacant since December 04, 2017 following his disqualification). Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha as JD(U) member in 2016, but he recently joined Lalu Prasad-led RJD in hope to get re-entry in the Upper House of the Parliament as an RJD member.
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday announced the schedule for the biennial election to the five seats from Bihar. As per the EC’ schedule, notification for the RS election will be issued on May 24 and May 31 is the last date to file nominations. Scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on June 1 and June 3 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature. If voting is required, the hours of polling on June 10 will be from 9 am to 4 pm and the counting of votes will be from 5 pm on the same day.
Members of the state legislative assembly (MLAs) cast vote for election of the Rajya Sabha members. In Bihar, the first preferential vote of at least 41 MLAs would be required for a candidate’s entry into the Rajya Sabha.
As per the existing strength of different parties in the 243-member Bihar assembly, Lalu Prasad’s RJD with its 76 MLAs and support of 16 MLAs of Left parties, would be able to get its two nominees elected to the Rajya Sabha. Thus, the RJD would gain one seat.
Similarly, the BJP and the JD(U) with combined strength of their 122 MLAs and support of four MLAs of HAM-S, would be able to get their three nominees elected to the upper house.
Since the BJP has 77 MLAs and the JD(U) 45 in the state assembly, the saffron party would naturally field two nominees and CM Nitish Kumar’s party –one- for the RS election.
From the RJD, its retiring member Misa Bharti, the elder daughter of the party boss Lalu Prasad, is all set to be re-nominated as the party candidate for the RS election. “There is no dispute over Misa Bharti’s second term in the Rajya Sabha. The actual scramble for the second seat which the RJD is sure to win with the support of the Left parties,” a senior RJD leader told TOI on Friday.
The aspirants for the second RJD seats have already begun the exercise of meeting the RJD’s top leaders namely Lalu Prasad, the leader of opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and party’s state president Jagdanand to seek their blessings. Some of the aspirants recently called on Lalu Prasad in Delhi.
The names of Baba Ziauddin Siddique, a former MLA of Maharashtra, who is famous for hosting Iftar parties for Bollywood actors, and the noted Supreme Court Lawyer and former Union minister Kapil Sibbal, also doing the rounds as likely candidates in the RJD circles. Sibbal was a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar from 1998 to 2004.
“The RJD has many senior leaders who really deserve to be sent to the Rajya Sabha. But any decision regarding selection of candidates will be taken by the party’s top leaders. The RJD has already authorized its national president Lalu Prasad to take such decisions,” RJD’s spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan told TOI on Friday.
“Of the two BJP members retiring from the Rajya Sabha this year, Gopal Narayan Singh (79 years) may not be repeated because of the age factor. The party may consider the name of any senior leader either from the retiring member’s caste (Rajpur) or Bhumihar. The second retiring member Satish Chandra Dubey had gone to the Rajya Sabha in a by-election and he remained in the Upper house for nearly two and a half years. Dubey’s name may be considered for a second term,” some BJP leaders told this newspaper.
“In BJP, the candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls are finalised by the party’s central parliamentary board. The central parliamentary board will take a decision at an appropriate time,” BJP’s media department In-charge and state vice-president Rajib Ranjan told TOI on Friday.
As per its existing strength in the state assembly (45 MLAs), JD(U) could win only one seat in this election. Most probably, the party would resend Ramchandra Prasad Singh, popularly known as RCP Singh, to the Upper house so that he could continue as the cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi government. But in the backdrop of the growing factionalism among the supporters of RCP and the JD(U) President Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, some party leaders expressed doubt over re-nomination of the former bureaucrat for the Rajya Sabha.
The name of another bureaucrat, who is considered close to Nitish, is also doing the rounds as the party’s likely candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls in the JD(U) circle. “Final decision about the party candidate will be taken by CM Nitish Kumar and national president Lalan Singh,” a senior JD(U) leader, who didn’t want to be identified, told TOI on Friday.

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