JD-U undecided on supporting BJP in Jharkhand Rajya Sabha poll

June 9th, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, June 9 (IANS) The Janata Dal-United (JD-U), a key constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is still undecided over supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates in Rajya Sabha by-elections in Jharkhand, scheduled June 20.
The BJP has announced its candidates for the two Rajya Sabha seats - Ajay Maroo and Anup Agrawal. Maroo was earlier an Rajya Sabha member and Agrawal is a leader from Dhanbad district.

“Our central leaders will decide over supporting the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha election,” JD-U’s state unit chief Jaleshwar Mahto told IANS.

“The BJP is not maintaining the coalition dharma. It should have consulted the JD-U before finalising name of its RS candidates. The BJP is taking decisions unilaterally. The state unit is not in favour of participating in the RS election,” another senior JD-U leader lead.

The relations between the BJP and the JD-U in Jharkhand got strained after the April-May Lok Sabha elections. The JD-U had fought two Lok sabha seats in the state - Palamau and Chatra - and lost both seats, charging the BJP of supporting its opponents and ensuring defeat of party candidates.

The BJP, which has an effective strength of 24 in the 81-member assembly, needs the support of the JD-U, which has four members, to remain in the contest. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress have agreed to share one seat each. The JMM has 17 legislators and the Congress nine and they are also likely to get support of seven RJD legislators and 10 other legislators belonging to either smaller parties or independents.

The two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was elected to Lok Sabha. The second seat fell vacant when Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MP Digvijay Singh quit to fight the Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate from Banka constituency in Bihar. Singh also won the election.

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