The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand has accused the Election Commission of India of trying to help the United Progressive Alliance by holding the election of two Rajya Sabha seats separately in the state.
"The Election Commission is trying to help the UPA by holding the election of two Rajya Sabha seats separately. The election of both Rajya Sabha seats should take place together," BJP leader Raghubar Das told reporters in Ranchi on Saturday.
The election of the two Rajya Sabha seats of Jharkhand will take place on June 20.
The two seats fell vacant after former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was elected to the Lok Sabha. The second seat fell vacant when Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Raya Sabha MP Digvijay Singh quit to fight the Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate from Banka in Bihar. Singh won the election.
"The Election Commission has issued two separate notifications to hold the Rajya Sabha elections. This way the legislators will use two separate ballot papers. As per tradition one legislator should use one ballot in the election," said Das.
"When the election is to take place on the same day then what is the need to issue separate notifications? In the past, only one notification had been issued for the election to the two seats."
In the 73-member state assembly, the BJP's strength is just 24, while the UPA, which includes the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal has 33. The Congress and JMM have nine and 17 legislators respectively and together constitute 26, which is more than the BJP.
If separate elections are held, the BJP stands to lose both seats. If the election is held together then the BJP is certain to win one seat.
The state is under President's Rule and the assembly in suspended animation since Jan 19.