Senior Congress leader Akhilesh Singh is Congress' Rajya Sabha candidate for one of the six Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar, sources have confirmed. Singh, a former Union minister will file his candidature today.
A Lalu Prasad Yadav loyalist, Singh's nomination has come despite the warning of a split in the party's Bihar unit from former state Congress chief Ashok Chaudhary, who recently quit Congress and joined JD(U) along with three MLCs.
"No one in Bihar Congress would accept Akhilesh Singh as Rajya Sabha candidate," Chaudhary had said.
Choudhary had also said that if Singh was made a Congress candidate, it would send a message that the party has become the "B" team of the RJD.
Singh was made a Union minister in UPA(I) from RJD quota. He later joined Congress. If Chaudhary's claims are true, the confirmation of Singh's nomination is likely to bring more trouble for Congress in its Bihar unit.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also filed nomination papers for Rajya Sabha elections in Lucknow, ANI reported.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 12, 2018
Overall, there are six Rajya Sabha seats lying vacant from Bihar, elections for which are scheduled to take place on 23 March. Each candidate requires at least 35 votes to get elected. Based on the votes, wins for two Rashtriya Janata Dal candidates, two Janata Dal (United) candidates and one BJP candidate are confirmed.
Congress, however, has just 27 votes and will require RJD's help to get the remaining eight votes. RJD has nine extra votes, and perhaps, Singh's closeness to the RJD chief may smoothen his election to Rajya Sabha. The last date for filing nominations is 12 March.
Considering no seventh candidate has emerged so far, the chances of all the six candidates nominated so far, being elected without contest are high. However, seeing the twists and turns witnessed during the last major Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, anything is possible.
Meanwhile, RJD leaders Manoj Jha and Ashfaque Karim filed nomination papers for Rajya Sabha in Patna.
— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2018
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018 12:34 PM