Home / India News / JMM’s Shibu Soren and BJP’s Deepak Prakash win Rajya Sabha polls from Jharkhand
JMM president Shibu Soren and Jharkhand BJP president Deeapk Prakash were elected on the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand on Friday, with the saffron party candidate crossing the victory line with backing from its formal ally AJSU party and independent legislators.
Three candidates including former chief minister and JMM patriarch Shibu Soren, Prakash and Congress’ Shahzada Anwar were in the fray for the two Upper House seats in Jharkhand, for which 79 legislators in the 81-member Jharkhand assembly exercised their franchise. Two seats in the assembly are vacant as chief minister Hemant Soren vacated Dumka seat while retaining Barhait after the assembly polls in December. The Bermo assembly seat fell vacant after senior Congress MLA Rajendra Prasad Singh died last month.
The candidates had to secure 27 first preference votes for victory. Shibu Soren, who lost from Dumka Lok Sabha constituency in 2019 elections, will be entering the upper house of Parliament for the second time after romping home with 30 votes. The BJP state president Prakash got 31 votes, while Congress’ Anwar could secure only 18 votes.
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While the JMM has 29 legislators in the current assembly, the BJP has 26 members including former chief minister Babulal Marandi, who merged his party with the saffron party after the assembly polls. The Congress currently has 15 representatives in the legislature.
BJP’s former ally AJSU had pledged support of its two legislators to the BJP candidate, besides two BJP-rebels who won as independents in the assembly poll, including former minister Saryu Roy who had emerged giant killer in the assembly election by defeating former colleague and the sitting chief minister Raghubar Das.
“I thank party’s national leadership and party legsilators. I also thank AJSU party, Saryu Roy and Amit Yadav (independent legislators) for their support. We always maintained we have the numbers and we have emerged victorious with maximum votes. Ideally this election should not have happened and even JMM president should have got elected uncontested. But the Congress fielded its candidate and forced an unwanted election,” Prakash told reporters.
Chief minister Hemant Soren said while the JMM and NDA won one seat each, his party would continue its political fight against the BJP.
“UPA had fielded second candidate thinking that many legislators and parties who had contested against the BJP in assembly election would support us, but it seems the BJP contested the Rajya Sabha election here, as it has been doing in other states, to win over MLAs to its side. We will continue our political fight against the BJP,” Soren told reporters.
Jharkhand Congress working president and legislator Irfan Ansari said he wondered why those against the BJP did not support the UPA candidate. “I fail to understand why people like Saryu Roy did not support us. They are senior leaders of the state. Wonder what the youngsters would learn from them,” he added.
With today’s win, the BJP now has four representatives from Jharkhand in the upper house of Parliament out of the total six RS seats in the state. The ruling JMM and Congress in the state have one member each.