Even as the RJD and the Congress are set to wrest from the NDA four seats in the Bihar Legislative Council, there is speculation that Lalu Prasad’s elder son and former health minister Tej Pratap Yadav is in contention for a berth.
Six JD (U) MLCs— Mohammed Haroon Rasheed, Ashok Choudhary, also the state Building Construction Minister, P K Shahi, Satish Kumar, Sonelal Mehta and Hira Prasad Bind, and BJP MLCs Krishna Kumar Singh, Sanjay Prakash and Radha Mohan Sharma are set to complete their terms.
The RJD is set to get three seats because of its numerical strength of 80 seats in the 243-member Assembly. The Congress, which has 27 MLAs, can get one seat.
In the NDA, the JD (U) with 70 seats and the BJP with 53 seats will get three and two seats, respectively.
Filing of nominations begins on Thursday and will continue till June 25.
An RJD source said, “Our party is likely to go with an OBC Yadav, an upper caste and a Muslim. Either Tej Pratap Yadav or Anirudh Yadav can fill the OBC slot. Tej stands a good chance as of now. He is the sitting Mahua MLA and will have to decide if he really wants an Upper House berth.”
The RJD strategists, it is learnt, do not want a situation in which Tej Pratap’s estranged wife challenges him from Mahua in the upcoming state polls.
The other names doing the rounds are those of RJD state president Jagdanand Singh, Bihar State Co-operative Marketing Union Limited chairman Sunil Singh and a Muslim face—RJD leader Faisal Ali is being considered a strong contender, it is learnt.
JD (U) sources said the party had been looking at combination of a Dalit, a Muslim and an EBC leader. Ashok Choudhary, a Scheduled Caste leader and a former state Congress president, is almost a clear choice, they said. Navin Arya or Arvind Nishad can fill the EBC slot and former Rajya MP Kehkashan Parbeen is being considered a frontrunner for the Muslim leader slot, the sources said. A Kushwaha candidate can also be in contention, said a JD (U) source.
From the BJP, Sanjay Mayukh is likely to retain his seat. Sources said Dalit leaders and former MPs Hari Manjhi and Janak Chamar may be considered for one of the slots. “As 12 MLC berths from the Governor’s quota are also likely to be filled soon, caste balance can be maintained,” said a BJP leader, adding that Radha Mohan Sharma, an OBC Kushwaha leader, is also in contention.