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RJD, Congress wait and watch over Rajya Sabha election in Bihar

Monday, 9 June 2014 - 7:34pm IST | Place: Patna | Agency: PTI

RJD and Congress on Monday said they would keep a watch over situation before taking a decision on voting on three Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar which has triggered a fight between JD(U) and Independents backed by rebels.

Against three JD(U) candidates including its President Sharad Yadav, diplomat-politician Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi as many Independents have entered into contest with the help of party rebels and BJP.

The Independents who filed nominations on Monday included builder and JD(U) candidate in recent Lok Sabha Anil Sharma, expelled JD(U) former Rajya Sabha member Sabir Ali and BJP's Dilip Jaiswal.

"I will talk to RJD MLAs and then take a decision," RJD President Lalu Prasad told PTI over phone. He dismissed reports in a section of media that he has asked his legislators to act on their own wisdom on voting and the party would not issue any whip. RJD has 21 MLAs in Bihar Legislative Assembly whose effective strength at present is 232 due to 11 vacancies. Both RJD and Congress had voted for Jitan Ram Manjhi government on confidence motion he had brought on May 23.

Congress in Bihar said the party did not take any initiative to field any candidate for Rajya Sabha seat with the help of JD(U).

"It was purely a media speculation. Congress on its part had not taken any initiative on its own on the issue," state Congress Vice President and media in-charge Prem Chand Mishra told PTI. He said after the scene gets clear after withdrawal of nomination on June 12, the party will take a call on voting on June 19.

Mishra, however, said the four member Congress Legislature party has been extending support to the Manjhi government.

Though ruling JD(U) which has 117 MLAs including the Speaker does not need any vote from other parties to ensure win of his three candidates. But, with three Independents coming in the fray with the help of rebel JD(U) MLAs and BJP, support from RJD and Congress to them could alter the result.

Rebel JD(U) MLAs--Gyanendra Singh Gyanu and Raju Kumar Singh--who accompanied the Independents to the nomination have claimed that they have support of nearly 50 party MLAs who are up in arms against party leadership after selection of 14 new ministers in Manjhi cabinet.


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