After denying him a renomination earlier,the BJP on Thursday declared the name of senior leader S S Ahluwalia for Rajya Sabha membership from Jharkhand. The biennial elections for two Upper House seats from Jharkhand will be held on May 3.
Setting aside its earlier inhibition on his choice,also succumbing to pressure from senior leaders who favored his candidature,the BJP leadership asserted on Thursday that Ahluwalia would be fielded for one of the two seats.
For the other seat,the JMM has maintained that it will stick to its earlier nominee,Sanjeev Kumar.
Elections for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand were countermanded earlier this month by the Election Commission after Rs 2.15 crore cash was seized from a vehicle belonging to a relative of one of the independent candidates,R K Agarwal.
Ahluwalia,who was the BJPs Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha and a four-time MP,had been sidestepped for a renomination from Bihar,which he had sought. The party leadership renominated party chief spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad and party general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan,who hails from Orissa,for the two seats from Bihar. Though its numbers were falling a bit short,the BJP attempted to secure a third seat for which Ahluwalias name was speculated on with the support of ally JD(U). The latter,however,refused to oblige and instead fielded its own candidate for the third seat.
On Thursday,Ahluwalia thanked the BJP for reposing faith in him.
Both the BJP and JMM have 18 MLAs each while the total votes required for a candidate to win a Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand is 27. The ruling coalition also has the support of AJSU,JD(U) and Independents.
Cash seizure: Munda clears CBI probe
Ranchi: Chief Minister Arjun Munda gave his nod to the CBI on Thursday to inquire into the cash seizure that led to the Election Commission countermanding the March 30 Rajya Sabha polls.