Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and five other candidates, two each of the JD(U) and the RJD and one from the Congress, were today declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar.
State Assembly Secretary Ram Shresth Rai handed over the certificates to the six candidates. Since there were only six nominations for as many seats falling vacant from the state in the Rajya Sabha, all the candidates were declared elected unopposed.
Apart from Prasad, who has been re-nominated to the Upper House of Parliament by the BJP, the others declared elected to the Rajya Sabha are -- Bashistha Narain Singh and Mahendra Prasad alias King Mahendra of the JD(U), Manoj Jha and Ashfaq Karim of the RJD and Akhilesh Prasad Singh of the Congress.
While the first three are sitting members of the Rajya Sabha, Jha, Karim and Singh would be making their debut in the Upper House.
However, Singh had been a Lok Sabha member from Motihari between 2004 and 2009. He was with the RJD at that time and had served as a Union minister in the UPA government.
Notably, the Congress will have a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar after more than a decade. The last candidate of the party to have been elected to the Upper House from the state was veteran leader R K Dhawan, who was nominated in 2004.
Despite today's developments, the number of JD(U) Rajya Sabha MPs has now come down by two to seven, while the BJP's tally (four) stands reduced by one.
Of the 16 Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar, the tally now stands as -- JD(U) seven, BJP and RJD four each and Congress one.
The JD(U)-BJP combine had more than 200 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly till 2013, as against the less-than-130 currently.