Hemant Soren to meet Sonia Gandhi on Rajya Sabha berth
JMM legislative party at a meeting here on Saturday afternoon authorised party executive president and chief minister Hemant Soren and party supremo Shibu Soren to decide on a candidate from Jharkhand for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, JMM general secretary and party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said: “We have authorised Guruji (Shibu Soren) and chief minister to finalise the name of Rajya Sabha berth from Jharkhand. Hemantji will be leaving for Delhi on Saturday evening to meet Congress president in-charge Sonia Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders and finalise the name for the Rajya Sabha candidate from Jharkhand.”
The senior JMM leader, however, asserted that the party would field its own candidate.
“We will be fielding our candidate for the Upper House and seek support from alliance partners Congress and RJD. The legislative party meeting was unanimous on fielding party candidates. We also discussed Sarna-Adivasi religious code in the census and a party delegation would meet the President in June so that Sarna-Adivasi Dharma code inclusion in census can be passed in the Parliament session itself,” said Bhattacharya.
JMM sources hinted that Kalpana Soren (wife of Hemant) and Supriyo Bhattacharya are among the contenders for the Rajya Sabha berth.
Senior Congress leaders, such as state president Rajesh Thakur, several Congress MLAs, including Jamtara MLA Irfan Ansari, are camping in Delhi for the announcement of party candidate for Rajya Sabha.
Congress leaders, including cabinet minister and legislative party leader Alamgir Alam, had informed the media that the party would announce its candidate for the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand as the Congress had supported JMM patriarch Shibu Soren in getting a berth in the Upper House in the 2020 election.
“As alliance partners, it is our turn to get a Rajya Sabha berth,” Alam had said earlier this month.
Biennial elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats, including two from Jharkhand, will be held on June 10. The elections were necessitated by the retirement of 57 members from 15 states between June and August. The last date for filing of nominations is May 31.
In the last election held in 2020, Congress candidate Shahzada Anwar had to face defeat. While JMM supremo Shibu Soren won the other seat, while BJP’s current state president Deepak Prakash was victorious in the other.
In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, JMM has 30 MLAs, Congress 18 and RJD 1. The Opposition BJP has 26 while its ally Ajsu has 2 seats. In the last election, one seat went to BJP (Deepak Prakash) and the other to JMM (Shibu Soren).
“We are closely eyeing the Independents, including Saryu Roy and Ajsu leaders Sudesh Mahato and Lambodar Mahato along with CPM leader Vinod Singh and NCP’s Kamlesh Singh. They may play a crucial role in tilting the scale in our favour if the BJP fields national vice-president and former chief minister Raghubar Das as its candidate. It is well-known that these Independents are adversaries of Raghubar Das,” a senior Congress leader said.
BJP spokesperson Pratul Singhdeo did not reveal the name of the party candidate.
“The decision will be taken by the party central command,” Singhdeo said.