Nitish Kumar, the Bihar chief minister and the leader of the JD(U) party, has denied Union metal minister RCP Singh a second term in the Rajya Sabha, while minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abaas Naqvi’s fate appeared to be in jeopardy after he failed to make the BJP’s first list of candidates from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
If their RS memberships are not renewed, the two should resign as ministers, paving the way for a minor shakeup in Modi’s cabinet.
Nitish announced Khiru Mahto, the head of the Jharkhand unit, as the party’s candidate for the sole seat the party can win, putting an end to speculation about the prospects of the former IAS metal minister, who once had such a close relationship with Bihar CM that the latter elevated him to the top of JD (U).
The removal of Naqvi, who serves as the BJP’s vice chief in the RS, was unexpected, as the BJP had just released a new record that featured Aditya Sahu as the party’s Jharkhand nominee, leaving Naqvi out of the race.
Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, both senior BJP leaders and Union ministers, have been renominated, as have two prominent Brahmin leaders, Laxmi Kant Bajpai (Uttar Pradesh) and Ghanshyam Tiwadi (Rajasthan).
Prakash Javadekar, a former Union minister, and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, the head of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, who represented Maharashtra, were not renominated.
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