Nitish’s Rajya Sabha blues

November 23 2015

Nitish Kumar is caught in the maths of getting Prashant Kishore a Rajya Sabha seat. It is to be noted that in the coming year, five Rajya Sabha seats will become vacant from the JD (U) quota; Sharad Yadav, Ramchandra Prasad Singh, K C Tyagi, Ghulam Rasool Baliyavi and Pavan Verma are due to retire. Nitish has already promised to Arun Shourie and Prashant Kishore that he will bring them both to the Rajya Sabha. At the same time, he is finding it tough to ignore Sharad Yadav and Ramchandra Prasad Singh (R P Singh) either. It is worth mentioning here that it is the same R P Singh who was once a principal secretary under Nitish Kumar, hails from Nalanda, belongs to the same community as Nitish, and left his job in the IAS to join him. But if the math is to be believed, Nitish doesn’t even have it in him to get two people into the Parliament from his party quota. That is because you need 40 Assembly members to vote for a Rajya Sabha candidate; in the current Assembly Nitish has only 71 Assembly members. Which means he will need Congress’ assistance to get the numbers right. On the other hand, the Congress is already asking for a seat from Nitish; the Congress has 27 Assembly members and it is short by 13. If they get the support of at least 11 JD (U) members, it will be easy for them to get another two. The Congress wants to send either C P Joshi or Dr Shakeel Ahmad from the Bihar seat. For Nitish, it is clearly a matter of tough decisions.

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