Sushil Kumar Modi
Sushil Kumar Modi
PTI Photo

Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was on Monday declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha in a by-poll that was necessitated by the death of Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party founder Ram Vilas Paswan.

Sushil Modi was declared elected unopposed on the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers.

In addition to the former deputy chief minister a lone Independent candidate, Shyam Nandan Prasad had filed his nomination papers which were rejected during scrutiny.

Prasad's papers were not supported by at least 10 members of the 243-strong assembly as proposers, which is mandatory, poll officials said.

Sushil Modi was handed over his certificate in the presence of a host of dignitaries, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with whom he is known to enjoy an excellent rapport, his successors as deputy chief minister Tar Kishore Prasad and Renu Devi and state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal.

Earlier, both Nitish Kumar and state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal had said that Modi was tipped for a "major responsibility" at the Centre.

The RJD and the opposition coalition were better off not contesting "just for the sake of contesting".

The RJD had taken exception to the BJP denying the LJP a chance to retain the seat, allegedly out of "khunnas" (spite) towards the party's young president Chirag Paswan who went solo in the recently held assembly polls which harmed the NDA, in particular the JD(U) headed by the chief minister.

Ram Vilas Paswan had got elected last year in a by- poll necessitated by his cabinet colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad's election to the Lok Sabha.

LJP sources also said that the party was hopeful of a berth in the Union council of ministers for Chirag as the party was now left with no representation despite being a steadfast NDA ally.

They also said throwing the hat in the ring for the Rajya Sabha polls would have meant burning the bridges with the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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