As the former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi filed his nomination papers for the by-election of the lone Rajya Sabha seat on Wednesday the Grand Alliance is likely to field former minister and Dalit leader Shyam Rajak.
Though his name has not yet been finalized it is said that the Grand Alliance will play the Dalit card as the seat had got vacated after the death of Lok Janshakti Party chief and senior Scheduled Castes leader, Ram Vilas Paswan.
Earlier, the RJD had even offered support to the widow of Ram Vilas, if the LJP puts up her candidature. As the National Democratic Alliance has 125 legislators it is most likely to win the seat.
However, the Grand Alliance, with 110 MLAs, wants to send the message to Dalits that by fielding Sushil Modi the BJP has encroached upon the genuine claim of the weaker section of the society.
The NDA on the other hand wants to put up a united front as chief minister Nitish Kumar, two deputy CMs Tarkishore Prasad and Reenu Devi and a host of ministers and legislators of the BJP and Janata Dal (United) were present at the time of the filing of nomination papers just after mid-noon.
Shyam Rajak, a former minister in the RJD government, had rejoined the party just before the Assembly election after being in the Janata Dal-United for eleven 11 long years—2009-2020. He couldn’t get ticket from Phulwarisharif Assembly seat which he used to represent because it went to the alliance partner CPI-ML. The latter actually won the seat.
While Rajak is hopeful of getting the support of Dalit MLAs from the rival camp, the NDA is claiming that he would meet the same fate as that of Awadh Bihari Chaudhury, who lost the election for the post of Speaker. The NDA also accused RJD of befooling Dalits by putting up Shyam Rajak when it is a known fact that he is going to lose.