NEW DELHI: Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Bihar on Friday.
Paswan, who is Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, had last week filed his nomination paper for the one Rajya Sabha seat going to by-poll in Bih
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar BJP president and Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, Road Construction Minister Nand Kishor Yadav and a host of other leaders were present on the occasion.
It remains to be seen if anyone from the Opposition files nomination-- the last date is June 25.
One of the most prominent Dalit leaders in the country, Paswan won the Bihar assembly election for the first time in 1969 and was elected to the Lok Sabha nine times since his first win in 1977. He was also sent to Rajya Sabha once before in 2010.
In a related development, two Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates and one Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Odisha were also elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed on Friday.
BJD leaders Amar Patnaik and Sasmit Patra and BJP candidate Ashwini Vaishnaw were elected unopposed in the Rajya Sabha by-polls.
The ruling BJD had supported Vaishnaw, a former IAS officer.
Since there were no other contenders, the Returning Officer after scrutiny of nomination papers announced the three to be elected.
The by-poll for the three vacant Rajya Sabha seats was scheduled to be held on July 5.
The seats had fallen vacant after the BJD`s Achyutananda Samanta, Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik were elected to the Lok Sabha and the Odisha Assembly in the recently-concluded elections.
While Samanta was elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, Deb and Patnaik won from Aul and Khandapada Assembly segments, respectively.
The tenure of seats vacated by Samanta and Patnaik will end on April 3, 2024, whereas the tenure of the Upper House seat vacated by Deb will end on July 1, 2022.