RS polls: BJP unit of Bihar discusses potential names
Patna, Mar 09: The BJP core committee on Bihar met here to discuss the names of potential candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in the state, which would be sent to the party's central leadership for final approval.
Held at the party's state headquarters here, the meeting was attended by state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nityanand Rai and Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Rajya Sabha member C P Thakur.
When approached by journalists with queries, Jaiswal said, "Of course, the list includes more than one name since we are only recommending the names. A decision has to be taken by our national president J P Nadda."
He also declined to answer questions as to how many candidates the BJP was looking forward to field for the elections to five seats.
Among the five seats from the state, which will fall vacant next month upon the expiry of terms of members, two are currently held by the BJP while the remaining three are of its alliance partner JD(U), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
However, in view of a notable fall in the respective tallies of both parties in the assembly polls held in 2015, which also saw RJD and Congress contesting in alliance with the chief minister's party and improving their respective numbers exponentially, the ruling coalition is likely to yield two of its seats to the opposition formation.
Of the three which the NDA can expect to win with the help of nearly 130 members in the 243-seat assembly, the JD(U) is expected to stake claim to two, leaving one for the BJP.
Although filing of nomination papers has to be completed by March 13, both the parties are faced with a tough decision of giving up claim to at least one each.
Among the JD(U) members whose terms are set to expire are Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, social activist- turned-politician Kahkashan Parveen and Ram Nath Thakur - son of Nitish Kumar's late mentor and former Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur.
The BJP MPs, who are at the end of their tenures are C P Thakur, a former Union minister and Ravindra Kishor Sinha, one of the state's leading businessmen, who has deep roots in the Sangh Parivar.
C P Thakur, who started off as a Congress MP in the 1980s, has been one of the city's leading medical practitioners and belongs to the Bhumihar caste, which has been loyal to the BJP for quite some time and has a sizeable population unlike the Kayastha community - to which Sinha belongs.
Bhumihar leaders of the BJP had thrown a fit during the Lok Sabha polls last year when many of them had threatened to revolt against the party for giving ticket to only one candidate from the community - Giriraj Singh.
The party's national general secretary in-charge for the state Bhupendra Yadav had to intervene by arranging their meeting with the then BJP chief Amit Shah.
An announcement was made before the press here later that due representation will be ensured by giving preference to the caste in Rajya Sabha and legislative council elections.