Ranchi: Congress on Sunday renominated its PCC president Pradeep Kumar Balmachu as candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections, dismissing the condition of its pre-poll ally Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric) to field a consensus candidate by the opposition.
"We have decided to field Pradeep Kumar Balmachu once again. He will file his papers tomorrow. We will appeal to JVM and other secular parties to vote for our candidate, who is from Jharkhand," Congress MLA Sarfarz Ahmed told PTI here.
Balmachu had also contested the March 30 RS polls, which were countermanded by Election Commission following allegations of horse trading. Fresh elections will be held on May 3.
Congress went ahead in re-nominating Balmachu even after the JVM-P’s warning that it would stay away from voting if the opposition failed to put up a joint candidate from among persons accomplished in social service or any other distinguished person.
JVM-P’s Principal General Secretary Pradip Yadav had yesterday told AICC leader and Congress in-charge for Jharkhand Affairs Shakeel Ahmed that his JVM-P would stay away from voting if the Congress went ahead with its own choice of candidate.
Congress (13 MLAs) and the JVM (eleven) had fielded Pradeep Kumar Balmachu and Praveen Singh respectively in the cancelled RS elections.
Tomorrow is the last date for filing of nomination for the two seats while scrutiny of papers would be taken up the next day. The last date for withdrawal of papers is April 26. Voting would take place from 9 am to 4 pm, and the result is expected to come out the same evening.