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2-min read

This is Why Nitish Kumar Chose to Stick with Old Guns for Rajya Sabha

Nitish Kumar left the decision to announce candidates late amid pressure from several quarters to send new faces to the Rajya Sabha. But he has chosen not to take any chances, reposing faith in incumbent members.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:March 13, 2018, 7:25 PM IST
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This is Why Nitish Kumar Chose to Stick with Old Guns for Rajya Sabha
Nitish Kumar left the decision to announce candidates late amid pressure from several quarters to send new faces to the Rajya Sabha. But he has chosen not to take any chances, reposing faith in incumbent members.
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Patna: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) national president Nitish Kumar has chosen to re-send Bashishtha Narayan Singh and Mahendra Pratap Singh to the upper house of the parliament, ignoring many other contenders including general secretary KC Tyagi.

Kumar left the decision to announce candidates late amid pressure from several quarters to send new faces to the Rajya Sabha. But he has chosen not to take any chances, reposing faith in incumbent members.

A senior leader considered very close to Kumar told News18 that, on earlier occasions, Kumar always considered new and dynamic faces to represent the party in Delhi but, learning from past experience, he chose not to do it this time.

“He has seen how after being elected, Rajya Sabha members have rebelled. Be it Sharad Yadav, Ali Anwar, NK Singh, Sabir Ali or Shivanand Tiwary. They all started to preach against Kumar after getting six year term in the upper house. So he was very conscious this time,” he said.

Apart from this, the reverse also created problems. During the last biennial elections in 2016, Kumar had decided not to field Pavan Kumar Varma again. After his term expired, he started showing signs of rebellion. When Sharad and Anwar opposed Kumar’s decision to pull out from RJD-Congress alliance, Varma joined their rank.

He also openly criticised Nitish Kumar for not exerting pressure on the Narendra Modi government for special status of Bihar, angering both the party and Kumar.

Sharad and Anwar were disqualified for anti-party activities by the JD (U).

In 2014, just before Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar had declined to repeat bureaucrat-turned-politician Singh, Tiwary and Ali in the Rajya Sabha. He insisted they contest Lok Sabha elections instead, which did not go well down with all of them.

Tiwary accused Kumar of high handedness, saying a plan was in place to defeat him from Buxar from where he was offered a seat. He declined and vowed to retire from politics, only to be active again in favour of RJD. Lalu Yadav recently made him party’s national vice-president. Ali did the same and after many hip-hops joined the BJP in 2015.

“No one ever thought that Singh too will become critical of Kumar, a man whom he trusted a lot. But, he too indulged in anti-party activities,” the leader said. Like Ali, He also joined BJP in 2014.

Kumar had all this in his mind when biennial elections were announced. Tyagi was an obvious choice in place of Sharad but Nitish had his mind made up.

“It seems KC Tyagi was told to wait till the court decides about Sharad Yadav who has challenged his disqualification in Delhi High Court. He can replace him then,” sources said.​

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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