RJD may field its candidate for Bihar Rajya Sabha bypolls

by IANS |

Patna, Nov 28 (IANS) After having suffered a defeat in the election for Speaker of Bihar Legislative Assembly, the primary opposition party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is refusing to bow down to the ruling NDA government in the state and is preparing to give it a tough political fight. The RJD is now devising a different strategy for the Rajya Sabha elections.

The RJD is gearing to field its own candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha by-elections. Earlier, on November 27, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated the name of former Deputy Chief Minister and party leader Sushil Kumar Modi as the NDA candidate for the Rajya Sabha by-elections.

The BJP has nominated Sushil Modi for the Rajya Sabha seat recently vacated after the death of former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. With this major decision, the saffron party has put a stamp of approval on Sushil Modi's name by bringing him into national politics. Considering the sheer numerical strength of the NDA in the Assembly, Sushil Modi is likely to be elected as Rajya Sabha member. The nomination for this vacant RS seat can be filed till December 3 and the by-elections for the Upper House of the Assembly will be held on December 14.

As per RJD sources, two names are being pitched in by the Grand Alliance for the upcoming Rajya Sabha by-elections. The party is likely to nominate RJD state President Jagdanand Singh and senior party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui for the Rajya Sabha seat. Siddiqui had recently lost the Bihar Assembly elections. Both the RJD leaders are considered to be trusted confidants of RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad.

Sources in the RJD also say that apart from veteran party leaders, the RJD could also field other lesser-known fresh faces to avoid criticism in case the party suffers a defeat in the RS polls.

However, the RJD has not revealed its political strategy yet. Looking at the sheer strength in terms of numbers in the Upper House, the NDA has the clear majority with 125 MLAs while the RJD-led Grand Alliance has 110 MLAs. Two days ago, the Grand Alliance had also fielded its candidate for the post of Bihar Assembly Speaker and suffered a defeat

BJP spokesperson Manoj Sharma said, "Sushil Kumar Modi is an experienced leader. He has served Bihar for a long time, now the party wants to reward him and utiise his experience at the national level. The Opposition can try a million times but it is not going to achieve anything, their defeat is imminent.. "

An RJD leader says that the party is focusing hard on the upcoming Rajya Sabha bypolls.

After the demise of former Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan, there were demands to nominate Paswan's wife Reena Paswan to the vacant RS seat. However, after the LJP broke up its ties with the NDA and contested as an independent party in the recent Bihar elections, the BJP decided to send Sushil Modi's name.

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