The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has re-nominated Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu for the biannual elections of two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, the poll on which is slated for May 3.
The announcement came just a day before the last date of filing nomination papers, April 23, and in the wake of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)’s decision to abstain from voting. So far, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), both ruling coalitions, have declared to field SS Ahluwalia and Sanjeev Kumar, as their candidates respectively.
Congress legislature party leader Rajendra Prasad Singh said Balmuchu’s name was declared by AICC president Sonia Gandhi after a lot of deliberations with senior party leaders. “We are confident of victory of the Congress candidate, even as impending RS polls is set to drive a wedge between the JMM and the BJP,” said Singh soon after presiding over the legislature party leader at his residence.
AICC spokesman and Jharkhand in-charge Shakeel Ahmad, hoped that their sustained effort would definitely motivate the JVM(P), a Congress ally, to join in their mission to defeat the design of communal combine.
Contrary to the previous elections countermanded by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the charges of misuse of money, no independent candidate could so far came forward to file their nomination. Last time, there were three independent candidates, Anshuman Mishra, RK Agrawal and Pawan Kumar Dhoot, in the fray.
However, Mishra, who was initially projected by the BJP, had to withdraw from the fray after serious differences among the BJP seniors over his nomination. The other two candidates had also had tacit support from the ruling coalition parties and it was apparent from the list of proposers.
Promoted at the recovery of Rs. 2.15 crore cash from a vehicle belonging to the kin of Agrawal from the State capital and an appeal filed against the ECI order to scrap the poll by Balmuchu, the Jharkhand High Court had asked for a CBI inquiry into the suspected role of money on the poll. The CBI has raided several places including those owned by some legislators and candidates and recovered vital documents pertaining to the countermanded RS polls.