New Delhi: After the controversy over its candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections from Jharkhand, Anshuman Mishra, the BJP seems to be heading for fresh trouble. Sources have told NDTV that its coalition partner in the state, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), has asked the BJP to withdraw its candidate SS Ahluwalia.
The BJP has, sources say, rejected the demand made by JMM leader and deputy chief minister Hemant Soren in his letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari. The party insists that Mr Ahluwalia will be its candidate for the polls next month.
The Election Commission had countermanded the Rajya Sabha elections in the state on March 31 after Rs 2.15 crore in cash was seized from a car belonging to a relative of one of the Independent candidates, R K Agarwal. The BJP then nominated Mr Ahluwalia - their outgoing Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha - on April 19.
Anshuman Mishra, a London-based businessman, had filed his nomination papers earlier and six BJP MLAs, among others, had supported him then. However, when senior BJP leaders issued directions to party MLAs not to vote for Mishra, he withdrew his nomination.
Both BJP and JMM have 18 MLAs each while the total votes required for a candidate to win a Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand is 27.
Earlier, BJP had decided not to put up a candidate from Jharkhand, where it heads the ruling coalition. The JMM had fielded Supreme Court lawyer Sanjeev Kumar as its candidate.
Polling will be held on May 2 for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand.