BJP delays filing nomination to Rajya Sabha in Madhya Pradesh

March 14th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by admin  

Bhopal, March 14 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh is confident of winning two Rajya Sabha seats while a contest is expected for the third seat. The party postponed filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha as it has not been able to decide the nominee for the seat where a show of strength will take place. The party candidates will now file their nominations Saturday, the last day for filing nominations.

Three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh are falling vacant. Going by the numbers, while the BJP is all set to send its two nominees to the Rajya Sabha from the state, it is not so confident of securing the third.

The Rajya Sabha members from these seats presently are Suresh Pachouri of the Congress, BJP’s Maya Singh and Samajwadi Party leader Obaidullah Azmi.

Though BJP has finalized three names - Rajya Sabha member Maya Singh, national secretary Prabhat Jha and Raghunandan Sharma who has recently returned to the party fold from Uma Bharati’s Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS) Party - it is unable to take a final decision on the priority to be accorded to the nominees.

“While putting its national secretary Prabhat Jha on the third preference would mean risking the party’s image at the national level, putting Sharma as the choice for the third seat would mean breach of trust as he was promised a Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh when he quit the BJS to rejoin the BJP,” said a party leader requesting anonymity.

BJP has 166 lawmakers in a house of 230 and it requires 174 votes to secure all the three seats in its favour. The party was confident about it till two days ago since it was expecting to get support of the eight Samajwadi Party lawmakers. But they have eventually decided to go with the independent candidate and Congress supported Vivek Tankha.

On the other hand four legislators loyal to BJS have made it clear that they want Raghunandan Sharma on second preference. In such a case, the BJP is left with no option but ask its national secretary Prabhat Jha to contest for the third seat.

BJP candidates were first slated to file their nominations Thursday but they had to postpone it since they were unable to decide as to who should be asked to contest for the third seat - Jha or Sharma. The confusion continued to prevail even Friday and now a decision has been taken that the party’s nominations for Rajya Sabha would now be filed Saturday.

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