The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday announced its candidates for two Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar. However, RJD snubbed its ally Congress, which had been demanding one of the seats.
The RJD state president Jagadanand Singh announced the names of Prem Chandra Gupta and Amarendra Dhari Singh for two of the five seats that will go to polls.
Gupta, a close aide of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, is currently a member of Rajya Sabha from neighbouring Jharkhand, but his term expires next month. Gupta had served as a cabinet minister in the UPA-1 government.
Singh is a well-known entrepreneur based in Patna and his candidature, which has taken many by surprise, is being seen as an attempt by the RJD to win over the upper castes ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls due later this year.
Earlier in the day, BJP released its second list for the Rajya Sabha polls. The party nominated Dushyant Gautam and Ram Chandra Jhangra from Haryana.
Meanwhile, Indu Goswami has been named from Himachal Pradesh and Bhagwat Karar from Maharashtra. However, Madhya Pradesh sprung a surprise of sorts where the party has decided to field Dr Sumer Singh Solanki, as opposed to Harsh Chauhan, as speculated.
Earlier on Wednesday, the BJP released its first list where it named nine candidates including newly inducted leader from Congress Jyotiraditya Scindia. It also allotted two seats to its allies, one each in Maharashtra and Assam, in its first list.