Bihar: Rabri Devi tipped for Opposition post in Upper House
The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 13 out of 24 Bihar legislative council seats on Thursday while the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) grabbed six seats, up from its previous tally of one seat, to ensure that former chief minister Rabri Devi could get the status of the leader of Opposition in the Upper House.
Polling for the two dozen seats were held on Monday.
Among the 13 seats won by the NDA, the BJP got seven, chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JDU clinched five, and the Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP), led by Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, bagged one.
“The NDA has raced ahead of the Grand Alliance in Bihar. We are ahead in the Lok Sabha, Assembly, and council seats in the state. The council results are yet another indicator of the support of the people,” Bihar industries minister and BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.
JDU spokesperson and MLC Neeraj Kumar said that the results were “as per expectations and came as a setback for the RJD, which was claiming its hold over the panchayati raj institutions across the state.
“We hope that it does not indulge in dynastic politics in the council and allows somebody other than Rabri Devi to become the leader of Opposition,” he said.
On the other hand, the RJD won six, independents won four, and Congress bagged one seat.
Earlier, the RJD had just five seats in the 75-member council and needed eight seats to claim the position of the leader of the Opposition.
Speaking to The Telegraph, legislative council chairman Awadhesh Narain Singh said: “The RJD has six seats in the House, but needs eight seats for one of its MLCs to become the leader of Opposition. It will have to apply for the position if it has got the required numbers. We will make a decision based on the circumstances and numerical strength of the House.”
The RJD despite its distinctive politics based on Yadav-Muslim votes in Bihar, had banked on general category candidates in the council polls in an indication of its growing preference under Tejashwi Prasad Yadav for an all-inclusive party.
The council results came as yet another setback to former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s son and Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan. None of the six candidates fielded by him won.
Chirag was recently evicted from the Delhi bungalow allotted to his father. Last year his uncle Paras had split the party, taking away six of the seven Lok Sabha members to become a Union minister, while Nitish had gobbled up the lone LJP MLA in Bihar.
“The results are an indicator that I am the heir of the great legacy of my elder brother Ram Vilas Paswan. The public has also accepted this and made my party’s candidate victorious from Vaishali. Chirag’s candidates were rejected everywhere,” Union minister Paras said.
Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) chief and former Bihar minister Mukesh Sahani, thrown out of the NDA last month, also suffered a setback. All his seven candidates lost in the polls and the road ahead seems bleak for him.