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INDIA alliance names former JMM MLA Sarfaraz Ahmad as RS candidate in Jharkhand

Former JMM MLA Sarfaraz Ahmad will be the INDIA bloc candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections in the State, party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said in Ranchi.

Ahmad (70) is set to file his nomination on Monday. His candidacy was confirmed following a meeting at CM Champai Soren’s residence, which was attended by senior Congress leaders.

The BJP had already named Pradeep Verma, the party’s Jharkhand general secretary, as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha election on Saturday.

The biennial election for the two Rajya Sabha seats from the state is scheduled for March 21, an official said.

The tenure of the current Rajya Sabha MPs from the State, Samir Oraon of the BJP and Diraj Prasad Sahu of the Congress, is set to end on May 3, necessitating fresh elections to fill the vacancies.

Based on the numerical strength of the state assembly, comprising 81 members, both the ruling alliance and the opposition are expected to secure one seat each in the upcoming polls.

Mr. Ahmad, who holds a PhD, tendered his resignation from the Jharkhand Assembly on December 31, citing personal reasons. He has a long history in politics, having been first elected as an MLA in 1980 in undivided Bihar and serving as a Member of Parliament from 1984 to 1989 representing Giridih.

The nomination process, which commenced on March 4, is set to conclude on March 11, with the deadline for withdrawal of candidature set for March 14.

Polling is scheduled to take place between 9 am and 4 pm on March 21 on the Jharkhand Assembly premises, with counting slated for the same day at 5 pm.

Jharkhand currently has six Rajya Sabha seats.

The ruling alliance, led by JMM, has 47 MLAs in the 81-member state assembly, while the BJP has 26 legislators and the AJSU Party has three. Additionally, the NCP and CPI(ML) each have one lawmaker, alongside two Independents and a nominated member.

Within the ruling alliance, the JMM has 29 MLAs, the Congress has 17, and the RJD has one.

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