J'khand RS Polls Begin, JMM Talks to AJSU for Support

J'khand RS Polls Begin, JMM Talks to AJSU for Support
A month after the Election Commission countermanded the polls, elections for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand began today even as last minute parleys were on, with ruling JMM wooing its junior ally AJSU party to vote for its candidate Sanjeev Kumar.

"JMM leader and deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren has called on our leader and deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto to request to vote for their candidate. Our executive committee will decide at the earliest on his request," AJSU Vice President Praveen Prabhakar told PTI here.

AJSU, which has five MLAs, had said yesterday that it was in a difficult position to decide following both allies, JMM and BJP, fielding candidates for the elections to the Upper House. The BJP has fielded S S Ahluwalia.

Both BJP and JMM have 18 MLAs each in the 82-member House. There is one nominated member and one seat is vacant.

Pradeep Kumar Balmachu of Congress is third candidate.

JDU's spokesman Pramod Mishra said the two MLAs from the party would vote for the BJP candidate.

The five-member RJD's Legislature Party leader Annapurna Devi said, "We have already decided to vote for Congress, and our MLAs will vote for its nominee Balmachu."

Lone CPI (ML-Liberation) MLA Vinod Kumar Singh said he would abstain from the polls as his party was disappointed with the happenings surrounding the elections to the Rajya Sabha. He had also not voted in the countermanded March 30 elections.

Meanwhile, MLAs from BJP, JMM, Janata Dal (United) and Congress have started voting.

The 11-member Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajantantric) had on April 26 announced its decision to abstain from voting, but Congress is trying to woo them.

The Election Commission had countermanded the March 30 Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand following allegations of horse trading by certain candidates. The CBI is enquiring into the allegations.
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