NDA, UPA gear up for Jharkhand Rajya Sabha polls Saturday

June 19th, 2009 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, June 19 (IANS) The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are both geared up for the election to two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand Saturday, making all attempts to keep their flock together and seeking support of smaller parties to ensure their candidates win.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is a major constituent of the NDA, has fielded Ajay Maroo and Anup Agrawal, while for the UPA the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has nominated party supremo Shibu Soren’s son Hemant Soren and the Congress’ candidate is Dheeraj Sahu.

The JMM and the Congress, fighting the elections together, respectively have 17 and nine legislators in the 81-member assembly, which has an effective strength of 73 currently.

They have already managed to get support of four Independent legislators, and are seeking the backing of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) seven legislators.

The JMM asserted that a UPA government would be formed in the state after the elections. “After the Rajya Sabha elections, we will form the government in the state,” said senior JMM leader and former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto.

Congress general secretary K. Keshav Rao, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Jharkhand, Thursday arrived from New Delhi in Ranchi and held meetings with leaders of UPA partners. He expressed confidence that the Congress-JMM alliance will win both Rajya Sabha seats at stake.

The Congress and the JMM are also organising dinner parties to keep the UPA flock together.

The BJP, which has an effective strength of 24 in the state assembly, is trying to get support of its ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which has four members, and Independent legislators for its candidates.

However, the JD-U is unhappy with the BJP after the party lost both Lok Sabha seats it contested in the state and charged the BJP with ditching it and supporting its opponents in the poll.

“Some of the JMM and RJD legislators are in touch with us. The JMM and RJD legislators want a ticket in assembly elections from the BJP and we are considering their demand,” a source in the BJP told IANS.

Election to both Rajya Sabha seats will take place separately and each legislator will cast two votes. Members of the state legislature constitute the electoral college of the upper house of parliament.

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