All nine candidates in the fray for the Bihar Legislative Council polls were declared elected unopposed on Monday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations, an official said.
Bihar Vidhan Sabha Secretary Bateshwar Nath Pandey, who is also the returning officer for the biennial polls to the upper house, said certificates were issued to all the candidates, fielded by four parties, after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations at 3.30 pm.
The newly elected MLCs are Ghulam Ghaus, Kumud Verma and Bhishm Sahni JD(U), Mohd Farooq, Chandrabali Singh Chandravanshi and Sunil Kumar Singh (RJD), Sanjay Mayukh and Samrat Chaudhary (BJP) and Samir Kumar Singh (Congress), he added.
The elections were necessitated upon expiry of terms of nine MLCs in May. All the seats were previously held by the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine.
However, because of the changed arithmetic in the lower house subsequent to the assembly elections of 2015, four of these had to be conceded to the opposition RJD-Congress combine.
The JD(U), which repeated none of its six candidates, has ended up witnessing a net rise in its Vidhan Parishad tally despite having to give up half of these. This has been because of a split in the RJD last week when five of its MLCs crossed over to the party headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The party's selection of candidates appeared a deft move to send out a message to its core supporters Pasmanda Muslims, women and the EBCs.
The BJP has given a second consecutive term to Mayukh, reposing trust in the party's national media co-head, besides sending out a message to the state's non-Yadav OBCs by fielding Chaudhary, a former state unit vice-president whose father Shakuni Chaudhary was a Koeri heavyweight.
The RJD's choice of Farooq, a Mumbai-based realtor with roots in Sheohar district of Bihar, surprised many.
The party also came under attack from the NDA for fielding Rambali Singh Chandravanshi, an academician who has been involved in a couple of cases relating to alleged sexual misconduct.
Sunil Kumar Singh is an old loyalist of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and chairman of the Bihar State Cooperative Marketing Union.
His choice seems to be yet another attempt by the party to dispel the notion, ahead of assembly polls, that it was indifferent to the upper castes. The hurried candidature of Samir Kumar Singh, one of the state vice-presidents of the Congress, reflected the deep disarray in its Bihar unit.
The party dragged its feet upon being bogged down by thousands of applications from aspirants for the lone seat and, initially, came out with the announcement that it would be fielding Tariq Anwar, a former Union minister and several-term ex-MP, who headed the state Congress in the 1980s.
Anwar, apparently not very happy with the party decision, nonetheless flew down to Patna from Delhi with just a few hours left for filing of nomination papers. It was then realised that he was not eligible since his name was not in the state's voters' list.
Samir Kumar Singh was, thereafter, chosen in a huff and rushed to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat along with proposers to do the needful in time.