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RS polls: Jharkhand BJP to support Independent candidate

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Ranchi, Jan 27 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition in Jharkhand, has decided not to field a candidate in the Feb 7 Rajya Sabha polls, an official said Monday.

The decision has ended the party’s hopes of retaining its lone seat from the state.

“We do not have the numbers, so we have decided not to field a candidate in the polls,” said Jharkhand BJP president Rabindra Rai. The BJP, however, will support an Independent candidate.

According to sources in the BJP, the party will support Parimal Nathwani who will either fight the RS elections as an Independent or on behalf of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

Nathwani is the sitting Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand. “In the 82-member house, a candidate needs the support of at least 24 legislators. BJP and AJSU have 18 and six legislators, respectively.

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), the second main opposition party with 11 legislators, has already announced it would neither field anyone nor support any party’s candidate.

Two seats will fall vacant as the terms of BJP Rajya Sabha member J.P.N. Singh and Independent member Parimal Nathwani are ending. J.P.N. Singh is the only BJP MP from Jharkhand.

Of the six Rajya Sabha seats in the state, the Congress has two while the BJP, the JMM and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) have one each besides an Independent member.

Though K.D. Singh won on a JMM ticket, he later joined the TMC. After the elections, BJP representation from the state in the Rajya Sabha will be zero.

In 2000 when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, the BJP had five Rajya Sabha MPs.

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