The BJP on Wednesday wrested the Rajya Sabha seat in Bihar which had fallen vacant upon the death of former union minister Ram Jethmalani, who was elected three years ago on a Rashtriya Janata Dal ticket.
BJP leader Satish Chandra Dubey was declared elected unopposed since no other candidate had filed nomination papers for the by-elections.
After the end of the deadline for withdrawal of nomination papers at 3 PM, Satish Chandra Dubey was declared elected unopposed. He was handed over the certificate inside the Vidhan Sabha premises, state assembly secretary Batesar Nath Pandey told PTI.
Mr Jethamalani was elected on a seat from the quota of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) in 2016, which gave up the claim over it as a goodwill gesture towards the Rashtriya Janata Dal headed by Lalu Yadav, his then alliance partner, who had hired the renowned lawyer's services in fodder scam cases.
The seats tenure was to end in 2022. With JD(U) back in the NDA camp and having an absolute majority with the BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party in the state assembly, the Grand Alliance headed by the RJD did not contest the election.
Initially, there were speculations that the JD(U) would like to put up its own candidate for the seat.
NDA sources said it was a deft move by the JD(U) national president, who might bargain hard with the BJP in the assembly polls next year, asking the alliance partner to return the favour granted in the Rajya Sabha by-poll.
The BJP, on its part, has attempted to soothe ruffled feathers within the party by nominating Satish Chandra Dubey who was the MP from Valmiki Nagar in the previous Lok Sabha. He had turned bitter after the party gave up the seat in favour of JD(U).
Satish Chandra Dubey, along with a number of disgruntled BJP leaders had announced ahead of the general elections that they will contest as Independents from various constituencies in protest against the "injustice" done to Brahmins and Bhumihars, who have been the party's traditional voters.
The crisis was defused after the dissenters were flown to Delhi where they were asked by party chief Amit Shah to back down, along with the assurance that the deficit in representation of the two communities will be made up for in the Rajya Sabha and the state legislative council.