Rajya Sabha polls: Blood is thicker than sweat in Bihar

Rajya Sabha polls: Blood is thicker than sweat in Bihar

Though five NDA members (three from the JD(U) and two from the BJP) are retiring next month in Bihar, the BJP-led alliance will be able to retain only three seats.

The suspense over who all will be the Rajya Sabha candidates for the five seats in Bihar and two in Jharkhand is finally over.

Though five NDA members (three from the JD(U) and two from the BJP) are retiring next month in Bihar, the BJP-led alliance will be able to retain only three seats. The RJD, the largest party in the state Assembly, will win the remaining two Rajya Sabha seats.

As reported by DH last week, the ruling JD(U) in Bihar has re-nominated the journalist-turned-parliamentarian Harivansh for the second term in the Upper House. He is presently Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Since the JD(U) has enough numbers in the Assembly (70 MLAs in the 243-member House), it has nominated Ramnath Thakur again for the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP, with its truncated strength (53 MLAs) in the Assembly, however, could field only one person and has, therefore, announced the candidature of Vivek Thakur, son of former Union Health Minister Dr C P Thakur. (One needs 42 first preferential votes to win a Rajya Sabha election from Bihar).

However, the decision to field Vivek as a Rajya Sabha candidate will rob the BJP of its main charge against the Congress that “the grand old party promotes dynasty politics.” Son of veteran politician Dr C P Thakur, who started his political career as Congress Lok Sabha MP from Patna in 1984, Vivek contested the 2015 Bihar Assembly election but lost. His RS nomination is now likely to make other senior BJP leaders demand tickets for their sons and daughters during the ensuing Assembly elections in the State, slated for October-November this year.

The JD(U) candidate Ramnath Thakur, a soft-spoken and low-profile leader, also belongs to the dynasty politics. His father late Karpoori Thakur, a veteran Socialist, was twice Chief Minister of Bihar in the 70s.

The scenario is no different in neighbouring Jharkhand where the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has fielded party patriarch Shibu Soren as the JMM candidate for Rajya Sabha poll. Since JMM is the largest party in the Jharkhand Assembly, Shibu’s election to the Rajya Sabha is a foregone conclusion. His election to the Upper House is being seen as a gift from his son Hemant Soren, who became Chief Minister of Jharkhand in December 2019.

RJD DITCHES CONGRESS

Meanwhile, the RJD announced its two candidates – Prem Chand Gupta, former Union Minister in UPA-I and Amarendra Dhari Singh, a businessman, for the Rajya Sabha polls. The move is seen as a snub to the Congress as the RJD had promised its ally a Rajya Sabha seat during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“The Congress reminded the RJD of its promise, but it failed to cut any ice with the party’s present leadership,” said a senior Congress leader here on Thursday.      

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