Polling for two Rajya Sabha seats is underway in Jharkhand although the key opposition party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), has decided to abstain from voting.
Polling for the two Rajya Sabha seats began at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Jharkhand assembly premises in Ranchi.
The JVM-P, which has 11 legislators in the house, Thursday reiterated it would stay away from the poll.
A JVM-P executive committee meeting took place Thursday and decided to stand by its decision to stay away from the polling.
Three candidates - S.S. Ahuwalia of the Bharitya Janta Party (BJP), Sanjiv Kumar of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Pradep Balmuchu of the Congress - are in the poll fray for the two Rajya Sabha seats.
The JMM had sought the support of the BJP, requesting it to withdraw its candidate. However, the BJP's contest the poll has irked the JMM and it issued veiled threats of destabilising the state government if its candidate lost.
Another ruling alliance partner, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), which has five legislators, has announced it would vote for the JMM candidate.
Deputy chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren Thursday met AJSU president and deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto to sought his party's support.
The BJP and the JMM have 18 legislators each in the 81-member house.
The All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Congress have five, two and 13 legislators, respectively.