Ahluwalia out of race as BJP bows to JMM, JD-U
BJP Rajya Sabha deputy leader SS Ahluwalia, whose term is expiring on April 2, lost the race for another term after the party bowed to its allies, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Janata Dal(U). HT reports.delhi Updated: Mar 20, 2012 01:06 IST
BJP Rajya Sabha deputy leader SS Ahluwalia, whose term is expiring on April 2, lost the race for another term after the party bowed to its allies, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Janata Dal(U).
JMM leader Shibu Soren had asked the BJP not to put a candidate from Jahrkhand. He insisted on fielding RK Aggarwal for the lone seat. BJP president Nitin Gadkari had even invited Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and deputy chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren to Mumbai and held a two-hour long discussion with them to end the stalemate on the issue.
But with the JMM refusing to concede, the BJP had to give up its plans, party sources said.
Later, the BJP decided to back Anshuman Mishra, a London-based NRI businessman, as an independent. The BJP’s 18 MLAs will vote for him. Mishra will have to manage the rest from the JMM and others. Pawan Dhoot, another industrialist, has also filed his papers for the seat as an independent, and this may pose difficulties for Congress nominee Pradip Balmuchu.
BJP sources said Ahluwalia would have been given a ticket from Bihar if the JD(U) had agreed to spare the seat.
Leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had strongly pitched in for Ahluwalia as the second candidate from Bihar.
But Gadkari decided to give the ticket to Ravi Shanker Prasad and Dharmendra Pradhan for the two seats.
Initially, Gadkari wanted Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to give the BJP the third Rajya Sabha seat as it has 23 MLAs in the Bihar assembly and JD (U) has 11 extra votes. The JD(U) insisted on allowing only two seats for the BJP and fielded former minister Vashist Narain Singh as its candidate.
“We are in alliance politics and we have to make certain compromises,” said BJP state president CP Thakur.
Rajya Sabha leader of opposition Arun Jaitley, who has good equations with Kumar, also spoke to him but the JD(U) insisted that it wanted to increase its strength in the Rajya Sabha.
Another BJP leader, RK Sinha, a confidant of Murli Manohar Joshi, was initially given the go-ahead but later told to withdraw as BJP deputy chief minister Sushil Modi wished the alliance with the JD(U) should not be “jeopardised”.
With inputs from Patna