Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and five others filed their nominations for Rajya Sabha elections in Bihar. BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad, whose tenure in the Rajya Sabha ends on April 2, filed his nomination papers along with two JD(U) candidates Bashishtha Narayan Singh and Mahendra Prasad.
Singh is the president of JD(U)’s Bihar unit and a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha. The Manoj Jha and Ashfaq Karim of the RJD and Akhilesh Prasad Singh of the Congress also filed nominations. Akhilesh Prasad Singh was a junior minister in UPA I as a representative of Lalu Prasad’s RJD. Polling and counting for the Rajya Sabha elections will held on March 23.Candidates of the JD(U) and its ally the BJP filed their papers in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, also the JD(U) national president, and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi. Prasad, Union law minister, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah for reposing their trust in him and lauded Nitish Kumar for ensuring that the NDA functioned as a team.
RJD candidates Manoj Jha and Ashfaq Karim filed their nomination in the presence of the party’s national vice-president Rabri Devi, state president Ram Chandra Purve and national executive member Tej Pratap Yadav. Jha, who is the party’s national spokesman, said, “Politics in the country today is a fight between fascist, dictatorial forces represented by the BJP and its allies, and socialist, democratic forces which we represent”. The Congress has only 27 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly. It is banking on nine surplus votes of ally RJD and one of the CPI(ML). On Sunday, former BPCC president and MLC Ashok Chowdhury had claimed that a party ticket to Akhilesh Prasad Singh, who was with the RJD till a few years ago, would cause a split in the state Congress. Chowdhury had quit the Congress with three other MLCs, and joined the JD(U) a fortnight ago.