In a major relief for the former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Janata Dal (United) on Thursday won the two Rajya Sabha seats amid cross-voting by the members of the JD (U), RJD and the Congress.
All eyes were on this bypoll as around 20 JD (U) rebels had fielded their own nominees Sabir Ali and Anil Sharma against the official JD (U) candidates Pawan Verma (former diplomat) and Ghulam Rasool Baliyawi (ex-LJP chief of Bihar unit). While Verma and Baliyawi got 122 votes each, the defeated candidates Sabir and Sharma secured 108 votes each.
Soon after the counting of votes, the rebels cried foul and blamed Lalu for ditching them.
“We had put up Sabir and Sharma against the official JD (U) nominees at the behest of Laluji. But he ditched us at the last moment and joined hands with his arch-rival Nitish, thereby leaving us high and dry,” said leader of the rebel JD (U) legislators Gyanendra Singh Gyanu.
Nitish, on the other hand, thanked Lalu, Congress and CPI profusely for the support during the RS bypoll although two MLAs each of the RJD and the Congress were reported to have indulged in cross-voting.