Ranchi: The stage is set for Rajya Sabha bypoll in Jharkhand on Thursday with six MLAs, who were facing disqualification charges for joining BJP after winning the assembly polls on JVM(P) tickets, being allowed to cast their votes.
The bypoll is being held following the resignation of K D Singh, who had won the seat with the backing of JMM and later joined Trinamool Congress. His term was scheduled to end next year.
Well-known journalist M J Akbar and Haji Hussain Ansari of JMM are in the fray.
Naveen Jaiswal (Hatia), Amar Kumar Bauri (Chandankiyari), Ganesh Ganju (Simeria), Alok Kumar Chourasia (Daltonganj), Randhir Kumar Singh (Sarath) and Janki Yadav (Barkatha) had joined BJP on February 11 after winning the December assembly elections on Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) symbol.
Bauri and Singh were later inducted in the Raghubar Das Cabinet, prompting former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi's JVM to move the Speaker's office for their disqualification under the Tenth Schedule.
Speaker Dinesh Oraon fixed July 3 to hear the JVM petition, a day after the RS bypoll.
JVM had also moved Jharkhand High Court urging it to restrict the voting rights of the six MLAs in tomorrow's bypoll, but the court today rejected its plea and posted to hear the disqualification petition after two weeks.
The Speaker has already announced that the six MLAs would be eligible for voting.
The house now has 81 members after the recent disqualification of ruling Ajsu party MLA Kamal Kishore Bhagat following his conviction in a case by a local court reducing the strength of the NDA ally to four.
Ruling BJP, including the six MLAs, has a strength of 43 members and along with Ajsu has the support of total 47 MLAs.
The opposition strength is JMM 19, Congress 6, JVM 2, BSP 1, CPI-ML-Liberation 1, Jharkhand party 1, Marxist Coordination Committee 1, Jai Bharat Samanta Party 1, Navjawan Sangharsh Morcha 1.
The single nominated legislator does not have voting right.