Rajya Sabha polls: JMM chief Shibu Soren set to enter upper house, advantage BJP...

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Home / India News / Rajya Sabha polls: JMM chief Shibu Soren set to enter upper house, advantage BJP on second seat from Jharkhand

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and former Union minister Shibu Soren is set to enter the Upper House for the second time from Jharkhand, while it’s advantage BJP on the second seat, which is a contest between Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash and Congress’ Shahzada Anwar.

Election for the two Rajya Sabha seats of the state is being held on Friday. The voting will end at 4 pm. The polling in the biennials has been necessitated as three candidates are in the fray from Jharkhand.

The BJP has nominated its state president Deepak Prakash who was confident of defeating the Congress. “Our win is certain,” he said, adding that with the Congress falling short of required numbers it was playing “dirty politics.”

The BJP leadership, however, is cautious, as the party is short of one vote (lawmaker) against the required 27 first preference votes, and has to depend on the AJSU that has two legislators. The BJP has 26 legislators in the House.

Despite the assurance of AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto, who after attending the NDA legislature party meet on Wednesday said that the party would vote for the NDA candidate, BJP central leader Om Prakash Mathur called on him once again on Thursday.

Another central BJP leader Arun Singh, who was here to overview the party’s poll preparation, met independent MLA Saryu Roy. The latter fell apart with the saffron party before the assembly election, contested against former BJP chief minister Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur (East) assembly seat as rebel candidate and had won.

The BJP had put up its legislators in a private university hostel situated on the outskirts of the state capital. The senior party leaders on Thursday trained the new BJP legislators on how to vote in the biennials correctly.

The UPA legislators, including chief minister Hemant Soren, also met at a luncheon party thrown by Irfan Ansari on Thursday and discussed their strategy - how to win both the seats.

The Congress has fielded Sahazada Anwar. However, the party lags in number (it is short of five votes) and Anwar’s chances depend mostly on cross-voting (if any).

There are 79 legislators in Jharkhand assembly after chief minister Hemant Soren had quit the Dumka seat and retained Barhet and the demise of Congress legislator Rajendra Prasad Singh.

To win, a candidate thus requires 27 first preference votes. The JMM has 29 MLAs and thus it would be a smooth sail for party president Shibu Soren.

The BJP has 26 after Babulal Marandi merged his JVM (P) with it. However, two others - Pradeep Yadav and Bandhu Tirkey who had won the assembly election on JVM (P) ticket did not align with the BJP and joined the Congress. The Election Commission however, accepted them as independent.

Besides AJSU, BJP candidate Deepak Prakash has the support of two independent MLAs as well.

On the other hand, Congress candidate Shahazada Anwar has 22 votes including two independents, two second preference votes of the JMM, one each of the NCP and CPI (ML) and two independents, besides its own 15 legislators.

Senior Congress leader and rural development minister Alamgir Alam said, “The party’s chances will depend if MLAs decide to cross vote. The party is in touch with a few opposition MLAs and independents,” he added.

AICC leader PL Punia is in the town as observer to oversee the election management of paty candidate.

Here is how the UPA and NDA camps stack up:

UPA

JMM: 29

Cong: 15

RJD: 01

NCP: 01

CPI ML: 01

Independents: 02

NDA

BJP: 26

AJSU Party: 02

Independents: 02

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