Rajya Sabha poll: JMM irked over BJP decision to field Ahluwalia

Ranchi, April 19 (IANS) The BJP’s decision to field S.S. Ahluwalia as its candidate for the forthcoming biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha has irked the ruling alliance partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which has already announced its candidate.

JMM has announced it would field Sanjeev Kumar as its candidate for one of the two vacant seats in the upper house, elections for which are scheduled for May 3.
Kumar was also the JMM candidate in the March 30 poll which was later cancelled by the election commission in view of incidents of “horse trading and use of money power to influence the voters”. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had supported the JMM candidate in the March 30 poll.
“BJP should not have announced to field its candidate in the election as during the last poll it had supported our party candidate. Such moves will create cracks in the alliance. Our leaders will discuss the matter with BJP leaders,” senior JMM leader and Jharkhand Cooperatives and Minority Affairs Minister Haji Hussain Ansari told reporters here Thursday.
In the March 30 poll, the BJP had first announced it was fielding independent NRI candidate Anshuman Mishra for the Rajya Sabha. However, after senior party leaders like Yashwant Sinha and others expressed unhappiness over Mishra’s candidature, the BJP decided to abstain from the poll.
Subsequently, as Mishra withdrew his nomination, BJP decided to vote in favour of the JMM candidate on March 30.
The election commission, however, recommended to President Pratibha Patil to cancel the notification for the two Rajya Sabha seats after Rs.2.15 crore in cash was seized on the outskirts of Ranchi on polling day. The money was seized from a car travelling towards the state capital from Jamshedpur. The money was suspected to have been arranged for payoffs for getting favourable votes from legislators.