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Gadkari ignores Advani, Sushma; Ahluwalia denied RS seat

Last updated on: March 19, 2012 20:09 IST

Gadkari ignores Advani, Sushma; Ahluwalia denied RS seat

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A Delhi Correspondent

In an unexpected development, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari has denied a party ticket to deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia for another term.

The re-nomination of Ahluwalia, Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand whose term expires on April 2, was never in doubt. The BJP leadership, however, made it clear to him on Monday that alliance partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren was unwilling to share the Rajya Sabha seat.

Though Ahluwalia is from Begusarai in Bihar, he shifted to Jharkhand when the new state was formed and represents it at present.

But what shocked BJP insiders was that it encouraged Anshuman Mishra, a London-based NRI businessman, to file the nomination as an Independent. Reportedly, 18 of BJP's MLAs would vote for him. He will have to manage the rest from JMM and others.

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The fight will become interesting as another industrialist Pawan Dhoot has also filed his papers for the Rajya Sabha seat as an Independent. This is bound to create problems for Congress nominee Balmuchu.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who was strongly pitching for Ahluwalia, wanted the latter to be fielded from Bihar. But Gadkari decided to give tickets to Ravi Shankar Prasad and Dharmendra Pradhan for the two clear seats. 

Gadkari wanted Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to give BJP the third Rajya Sabha seat, as it has 23 MLAs in the state assembly while JD-U has 11 extra votes.

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It is learnt that Sushma wanted Ahluwalia be given the second seat instead of third uncertain seat. But Gadkari stood firm and indicated that leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the RSS leadership was keen on Dharmendra Pradhan.

Even senior leader L K Advani wanted Ahluwalia to be accommodated.

But Gadkari remained unmoved. Businessman R K Sinha, a confidante of Murli Manohar Joshi, was given the ticket for the third seat.

The JD-U has fielded its own candidate as well.




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