Rabri Devi, Premchand Gupta likely to be RJD nominees for Rajya Sabha
RJD insiders nominating Rabri Devi for a Rajya Seat seat would help the party quell rumblings over a ticket to the upper house of Parliament.Updated: Feb 04, 2020 19:35 IST
More than two decades after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad propped up his wife Rabri Devi as Bihar chief minister in 1997, he wants to send her to the Rajya Sabha, sources said Tuesday.
According to sources, former union minister and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Prem Chand Gupta is likely to be the RJD’s second candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls against the two seats the party hopes to win against five vacancies from Bihar in the upper house of Parliament this year.
Gupta is a close confidant of the jailed RJD chief and there are speculations he is set for another term for unflinching loyalty to the party. A sitting RS member from Jharkhand, Gupta faced trouble three years back when his name along with his wife figured in the IRCTC scam in which Lalu, his wife and son Tejashwi are also accused. The scam pertains to allotment of IRCTC hotels when the RJD chief was railway minister from 2004-2009 in UPA - 1 government. The CBI has filed a charge sheet in the case.
State president of the RJD Jagdanand Singh did not confirm or deny the reports that Rabri Devi and Gupta would be the party’s nominees for the Rajya Sabha. “Both Rabri Devi and Prem Gupta are senior leaders. The party’s stand would be clear at an opportune time,” he said. Gupta could not be reached for his comments despite efforts.
Insiders in the RJD said Rabri Devi’s nomination for a Rajya Seat would help the party quell rumblings over a ticket. Sources said several senior leaders including former MPs Raghuvnash Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tiwary who are nursing ambitions to get into the upper house would not oppose the nomination of the former chief minister as she is an acceptable face. Rabri Devi is currently a member of legislative council (MLC).
Recently, the RJD had witnessed infighting with Raghuvnash and state president Jagdanand Singh trading accusations against each other. Raghuvnash had even slammed Jagdanand of running the party like an autocrat. On Saturday, both the senior leaders had met the RJD chief at RIMS, Ranchi who is said to have urged the two veterans to shed their differences and work together.
Sources said Lalu Prasad has discussed the names of two probable candidates of RJD with senior leaders recently. A formal announcement is yet to be made.