New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha seat that fell vacant following the death of Lok Janata Party (LJP) patriarch Ram Vilas Paswan may not return to the now Chirag Paswan-led party after all as the BJP-JDU alliance has now got another opportunity to further crystalise their ties with the LJP over their “ideological differences”. Also Read - From West to East: Maharashtra’s Ruling Shiv Sena to Contest West Bengal Polls This Year
Despite Chirag’s mother Reena Paswan being the talk of the town for some time, the BJP is said to be looking to push its own candidate to the Upper House berth. Also Read - Tripura Congress Chief's Car Attacked Allegedly by BJP Workers, Party Calls For Strike
The race to the lone Rajya Sabha seat became aggressive and speculations are rife that the saffron party is not willing to back the LJP after Junior Paswan pulled a wire against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The relationship between the two allies turned sour after Chirag Paswan withdrew his party from the ruling alliance and contested the Bihar polls separately. Also Read - Shatabdi Roy Meets Mamata's Nephew Abhishek Banerjee, Says She Is Not Leaving TMC
This is because although the BJP has not officially broken ties with the Paswan party, the JD(U) may be discouraging giving away the seat to LJP after the latter “hurt” JD(U)’s sentiments.
Meanwhile, the BJP, who has made a firm ground in Bihar with Nitish Kumar’s support, is also highly unlikely to do anything which alienates it from the JD(U).
Forgone Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan, whose term would have ended on April 2, 2024, was given the Upper House berth as part of the seat-sharing arrangement during 2019 Lok Sabha elections between BJP and LJP, which included six Lok Sabha seats and one Rajya Sabha berth. The LJP had won all six Lok Sabha seats it contested.
The by-election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat is scheduled for December 14 and the last date to file a nomination is on December 3.