Janata Dal-United President Sharad Yadav was on Thursday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar, but in two other seats, the party’s official candidates were facing stiff challenge from Independents backed by rebels and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
After end of withdrawal deadline at 3:00 pm, Assembly Secretary Hareram Mukhiya declared Sharad Yadav elected unopposed to the seat vacated by Lok Janshakti Party President Ramvilas Paswan after victory in the Lok Sabha poll.
There were four candidates for the two other seats, Mukhiya, who is returning officer for the three Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar said.
For the two seats JD-U official candidates diplomat-politician Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi were being challenged by Independents -- real estate baron Anil Sharma and expelled JD-U leader Sabir Ali respectively who were backed by rebel legislators of Nitish Kumar’s party and the opposition BJP.
The two seats for which voting would take place on June 19 were vacated by BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Ramkripal Yadav.
Sharad Yadav, did not collect the certificate from the returning officer. Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar received Yadav’s certificate on his behalf. Asked about Sharad Yadav not personally collecting his certificate and whether it was because of his annoyance over disquiet in the party, Shrawan Kumar, said there was nothing unusual about it.
“In the past I had collected the certificate of George Fernandes who was elected to Rajya Sabha from Bihar,” said Kumar, a close confidante of former chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Shrawan Kumar, who hails from Nitish Kumar’s Nalanda home district, tried to put up a brave face saying a handful of dissidents opposing the two JD-U official candidates would return before the June 19 voting.
“Senior party leaders are talking to them and everything will be sorted out before June 19 voting. Some JD-U MLAs are unhappy because of some personal issues,” he said.
Mukhiya said that voting on June 19 for the two RS seats would take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and the results in all probability would be declared on the same day. The Returning Officer said that term of the three RS seats would be till May 6, 2016.