Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav is unlikely to be renominated to the Rajya Sabha. On the other hand, Rabri Devi, wife of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, is most likely to be nominated to the Upper House from Bihar.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Bihar, all from JDU—Gulam Rasool Balyawi, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, K.C. Tyagi, Pavan Kumar Varma and Sharad Yadav—are going to retire in July this year.
In the changed composition of the Bihar Assembly, the JDU-RJD-Congress alliance can get four seats while the BJP one. Since JDU has to accommodate RJD, the two parties are likely to settle for two candidates each. Congress is unlikely to push for its candidates, said a source.
According to sources, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is under intense pressure to retain K.C. Tyagi, whose performance in RS as well as spokesperson has been quite satisfactory. Tyagi also has a good network in the national capital’s political circles. At the same time, Kumar is also under pressure to nominate someone from the minority community as the second candidate as a large number of people from the minority community had voted for him in last year’s Assembly elections. However, there is a possibility that he may continue with Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, who has a good hold over the organisation.
A source said that all is not well between Nitish and Sharad Yadav. “During a reception ceremony of Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s daughter in Delhi on 15 March , both Nitish and Sharad came separately. They sat separately. During the event, they did not meet even once,” said a source, adding “there is also pressure from Lalu not to renominate Sharad Yadav, as he (Lalu) wants to remain the only Yadav leader from the state”.
It is also believed that the BJP, with 53 MLAs, may be able to win at least one seat, thereby increasing its number in the Upper House from four to five, from Bihar.
Lalu, on the other hand, wants his wife Rabri Devi to become a member of the Rajya Sabha as this will ensure him a big bungalow in the Lutyens’ Delhi. At present Lalu does not have any house in New Delhi and stays at the official residence of RJD MP Prem Chand Gupta.
“He has been saying that he would work at the national level while his ‘younger brother’ (Nitish Kumar) will work for the development of Bihar. The nomination of Rabri Devi will help Lalu get an address in the national capital, from where he can operate with ease. Earlier he wanted to nominate his daughter Misa Bharti as a candidate. But since she will be a new member, she may not get a big house. However, Rabri is likely to get a bigger, Type VIII bungalow, by virtue of her being a three-time former Chief Minister. Therefore, Lalu, is likely to nominate Rabri as a candidate for the Rajya Sabha,” said the source.
Regarding the second candidate, the source said Lalu can push for his daughter Misa Bharti.
“But there might be resentment among the cadre over sending to the RS two candidates from the family. In that case, there is possibility that he can nominate Heena Shahab, wife of RJD leader Shahabuddin,” the source added.