Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has been named as the BJP’s candidate for by-election to a Rajya Sabha seat from Bihar.
It will be smooth sailing for Mr Modi’s entry to the Rajya Sabha as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a majority in the Bihar legislative assembly.
The election will be held on December 14 – if the rival alliance led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) decides to contest.
BJP’s Tarkishore Prasad was made the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister after the party won the state election recently and Nitish Kumar became Chief Minister for the fourth time.
The Chief Minister, who heads the Janata Dal United (JDU), had said he would miss his longtime deputy. The BJP had also denied that Mr Modi was upset over the shake-up.
Mr Kumar and Mr Modi’s long association transcended the ups and downs of the ties between their parties. Mr Modi often stepped in when cracks surfaced in the NDA in Bihar and was foremost in defending Mr Kumar when he faced attacks from Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) Chirag Paswan or even from BJP leaders.
The Rajya Seat to which Mr Modi is looking to be elected fell vacant after the death of Lok Janshakti Party founder and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
The LJP fought the Bihar election against the JDU, but not against the BJP.
When it was announced that Mr Modi would no longer be the Deputy Chief Minister, sources had said he would be given a central assignment.
The NDA managed to return to power in Bihar in the recently held election to the 243-member assembly by winning 125 seats.
Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD put up a strong fight. His party emerged as the largest party, though the opposition alliance fell short of the majority mark.
With inputs from PTI