The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Tuesday withdrew its candidate — Savita Mahato, the widow of party leader and former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahato — from the Rajya Sabha elections under pressure from alliance partners Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Till Tuesday, the last day for filing the nominations, only two filed their papers for the two vacant Rajya Sabha seats from the state — making it a first for the state that candidates will be elected unopposed to the Upper House. RJD’s Prem Chand Gupta is the UPA’s candidate, while outgoing member and group president of corporate affairs at Reliance Industries Limited, Parimal Nathwani, is in the fray as an Independent with the backing of the BJP and AJSU.
While the Congress and RJD’s united front may have been prompted by their respective central leadership with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the withdrawal of Savita’s candidature has led to a bickering in the JMM camp with three legislators submitting their resignation as MLA to party chief Shibu Soren. “Savita was not treated well by the party. We are playing into the politics of other parties by supporting the outsiders,” said MLA Jagarnath Mahato.
The RJD with five seats in the 82-member House thus bagged its first RS seat from the state. It also rehabilitated the outgoing member from Bihar where the party does not have sufficient numbers to ensure Gupta’s re-election.