Monday, June 14, 2021

Raghubar Das, other BJP stalwarts to wait till 2022 for RS berth

Jamshedpur: With the Rajya Sabha elections getting over, BJPś other aspirants for the upper house from Jharkhand will now have to wait till 2022.

Former Chief Minister and party stalwart Raghubar Das is the top contender for the party ticket. In fact, he was being touted as the party candidate for the just concluded RS polls. But as arithmetical figures were not in his favour, party decided to field Deepak Prakash, a man with few opponents, both within and without the BJP.

Prakash was elected along with JMMś Sibu Soren for the two RS seats, one-third of the total quota of six seats for Jharkhand in the upper house. Every two years, one-third of the members retire from the house.

Party insiders said the BJP high-ups were in favour of Raghubar Das getting elected to RS this year. But the party heavily depended on the support of AJSU MLA Sudesh Mahato and Independent MLA Saryu Roy. Roy is the political arch rival of the former CM who defeated Das from Jamshedpur East constituency. He quit his Jamshedpur West seat to avenge partyś rejection of his candidature allegedly spearheaded by Das. He was a former minister of Raghubar Das cabinet. His support for Das would have been a pipe dream. Unwilling to take risk, the party instead decided to field Deepak Prakash.

However, even in 2022, getting elected to RS would not be a cakewalk for Raghubar Das as the same arithmetical problem would intrigue him. Das may have a chance only if the BJP is successful in bringing Roy and Mahato round.

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The four previously elected RS members from Jharkhand are Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP), Mahesh Poddar (BJP), Dheeraj Sah (Congress) and Sameer Oraon (BJP). Naqvi and Poddar are due to retire on 7th July 2022. Sah and Oraon will retire on 3rd May 2024. Sibu Soren and Deepak Prakash will remain upper house members till 2026.

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