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Nathwani, Gupta go to RS

Ranchi, Jan. 31: The ongoing furore among a section of JMM and Kurmi leaders over JMM leader Sudhir Mahto’s widow Sabita not getting a Rajya Sabha ticket did not affect the outcome as Independent Parimal Nathwani and RJD member Prem Chand Gupta were today declared elected unopposed.

JMM, facing internal strife for buckling to coalition compulsions and back Gupta over Sabita, did not make an appearance at Vidhan Sabha premises, Dhurwa, when he collected his victory certificate this afternoon. Even members of ally Congress, which supported Gupta too, stayed away. It was left to RJD leaders, including cabinet ministers Annapurna Devi and Suresh Paswan, to celebrate Gupta’s entry.

Nathwani, nominated by the BJP and Ajsu, will collect his certificate tomorrow.

As soon as the 3pm deadline to withdraw nomination papers tamely passed, Sushil Kumar Singh, Assembly secretary-cum-returning officer for Rajya Sabha poll, faxed a message to Election Commission of India (ECI), seeking permission to declare both Nathwani and Gupta as elected. It was granted promptly. There is no need now to hold elections on February 7.

Devi, Paswan, RJD state president Girinath Singh and MLAs and party workers greeted Gupta with bouquets and garlands.

Gupta, making his maiden innings as a Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand, was fulsome in his thanks.

“I sincerely thank RJD president Lalu Prasad, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Guruji (JMM president Shibu Soren) for reposing faith in me,” Gupta said.

Conscious of the “outsider perception”, Gupta, originally from Haryana and a former Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, stressed he would “always be associated with Jharkhand”.

In Bihar, Prabhat Khabar chief editor Harivansh, associated with Jharkhand for long, was declared elected to Rajya Sabha on a JD(U) ticket along with Kahkasha Parveen, with Ranchi roots, and Ramnath Thakur, son of former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur.


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