The revolt by Congress leader Jyotirditya Scindia just ahead of Rajya Sabha elections has come as a blessing in disguise for the RJD which was facing pressures from Congress to part with one seat from its share of two from Bihar. The RJD, headed by Lalu Prasad, is now confident to nominate both its candidates to the Upper House of the Parliament.
A total of five RS seats are falling vacant in Bihar this April following the retirement of NDA leaders. They include Harivansh, Kehkashan Perveen, and Ram Nath Thakur from the JD-U and Dr CP Thakur and RK Sinha from the BJP. The RJD, which is the single largest party in the Bihar assembly with 80 members, has a gain of two seats this time due to its numerical strength.
Even as the RJD was searching for its two candidates to be sent to the Rajya Sabha, the Congress suddenly chipped in and reminded its alliance partner about the promises it had made at the Lok Sabha seat-sharing deal. On 8 March, Congress’ national spokesperson and Bihar’s in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil in a very peculiar move issued an open letter to the RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav reminding the latter about the promise he had made to the former and advised him to keep his words.
The letter, while quoting a powerful line from the great epic Ramayana, reminded the RJD leader about the importance of promise in life—“Pran jaye par vacahn na jaye” (one should lay down one’s life but never dishonour one’s commitment). According to Gohil, while holding a joint Press conference of Grand Alliance leaders during the LS polls, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had clearly announced to spare a Rajya Sabha seat for the Congress.
“Achchhe logon ke liye kaha jata hai ki ‘Pran jaye par vachan na jaye’ (the good people are known to be fulfilling their commitments),” was how Gohil said in an open letter to the RJD leader adding he hoped Tejashwi would keep his promise.
Strangely, right when Congress adopted an aggressive move towards the RJD to extract an RS seat for its candidate, came the news of revolt in the Madhya Pradesh Congress as the top leadership got busy in defusing the crisis. This came as a huge relief for the RJD which has now firmed up its postures and announced to send its leaders to the RS. Reports said the RJD has already decided on the names of the candidates.
Although it is not known who are these two candidates yet one of the candidates whose names are doing the rounds is Rabri Devi, the wife of jailed RJD president Lalu Prasad. The JD-U, on the other hand, has decided to re-nominate Harivash and Ramnath Thakur to the RS while the BJP is yet to decide for its lone seat as the list of hopefuls is very long.