RJD open to all options on RS poll in Bihar
Patna: Opening up contest for the three Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, RJD today said all options are open for it and authorised party president Lalu Prasad to take a call on voting.
"The national executive of RJD has already authorised Lalu Prasad to take a decision on crucial matters. Whatever he decides on Rajya Sabha polls, will be followed by party MLAs," RJD state president Ramchandra Purve told reporters.
Asked whether RJD legislators will vote for candidates put up by JD(U) or Independents propped up by rebels and helped by BJP, Purve evaded a direct reply and said "all options are open for the party".
RJD has 21 MLAs in Bihar Legislative Assembly, which has an effective strength of 232 as 11 seats are vacant.
Purve said a whip could be issued on voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats if needed but that was also for Prasad to decide.
Yesterday, a section of media had reported that the RJD chief has asked his legislators to vote according to their wisdom. But, while talking to PTI, Prasad had denied issuing any such instructions.
He said he would take a call on party role on RS vote after talking to MLAs.
Three Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar fell vacant after LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Kripal Yadav resigned after winning the recently held Lok Sabha elections.
JD(U) has fielded three candidates - it`s national president Sharad Yadav, author and former bureaucrat Pawan Kumar Varma and politician Ghulam Rasool Baliyawi.
On the other hand, JD(U) rebels have propped up builder and party candidate in Lok Sabha polls Anil Sharma and former Rajya Sabha member Sabir Ali. They are also supporting BJP`s Dilip Kumar Jaiswal, a candidate who lost the Lok Sabha polls from Kishanganj constituency.
With JD(U)`s two candidates other than Sharad Yadav facing stiff challenge from Independents, 21 votes of RJD are crucial for both the sides.
The JD(U) rebels are claiming support of 50 party legislators who are up in arms against former CM Nitish Kumar.
BJP which has 84 MLAs could extend support to Independents in a bid to further expose Nitish`s vulnerability before the crucial Assembly poll next year. In such a condition, vote of 21 RJD MLAs would be crucial.
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