RJD nominee, Independent set for RS from Jharkhand

Ranchi, Jan 28 (IANS) Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Prem Kumar Gupta and Independent candidate Parimal Nathwani are set to be elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand.

Tuesday was the last day for filing nomination papers for the Feb 7 Rajya Sabha biennial elections.
The state’s ruling party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), earlier announced it would field Savita Mahto, widow of former deputy chief minister and senior party leader Sudhir Mahto. The JMM, however, decided to support the RJD candidate.
The RJD threatened to withdraw support to the minority Hemant Soren government if the JMM did not back its candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls.
“Numbers were against us, so we decided to withdraw our candidate,” Soren told reporters.
Nathwani is supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
He is the sitting member of the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand. In the 82-member assembly, a candidate needs the support of at least 24 legislators. The BJP and the AJSU have 18 and six legislators, receptively.
The second main opposition party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) with 11 legislators, has already announced it would not either field a candidate or support any party in the elections.
The seats will fall vacant as the terms of BJP’s sole Rajya Sabha member J.P.N. Singh and Nathwani are ending.
Of the six Rajya Sabha seats in the state, the Congress has two while the BJP, the JMM and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) have one each besides an Independent member.
Though K.D. Singh won on a JMM ticket, he later joined the TMC. After this year’s polls, there will be no BJP presence from the state in the Rajya Sabha.
When Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, the BJP had five members in the Rajya Sabh.