"Sharma, an industrialist, was among the richest candidates in the Lok Sabha polls."
Patna, June 9 - Ending days of speculation, the Janata Dal-United Monday nominated national president Sharad Yadav, and party leaders Ghulam Rasool Baliyavi and Pawan Kumar Verma for elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar.

All three leaders Monday filed their nomination papers.

Three Independent candidates - Anil Sharma, Sabir Ali and Dilip Jaiswal - also filed their papers.

Meanwhile, over half a dozen rebel JD-U legislators Monday announced their support for two independent candidates, Ali and Sharma.

Three rebel JD-U legislators - Raju Kumar Singh, Poonam Devi and Ravinder Rai - who were suspended by the party Sunday for anti-party activities, told media persons Monday that their support to the two Independent candidates was a mere expression of their protest against arrogant party leadership.

We will not support anyone against Sharad Yadav, he will be declared elected. All of us respect him, they said.

The rebel legislators were present when Ali and Sharma filed their papers, and also met Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

This shows their inclination to embarrass the JD-U top leadership, including former chief minister Nitish Kumar, a BJP leader said.

The election is scheduled for later this month.

JD-U legislator Manjit Singh said the rebel legislators were doing such things on the instruction of the BJP and want to destabilise the state government.

Sharad Yadav lost the Lok Sabha election from Madhepura constituency.

To ensure his presence in parliament so that he can play an active role in national politics, the JD-U decided to send him to the Rajya Sabha, a party leader said.

Sabir Ali, a former JD-U parliamentarian, had joined the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections but was shown the door by the party following a statement by party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqbi that Ali had links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Sharma, who lost the Lok Sabha polls as a JD-U candidate from Jehanabad seat, recently said at a press conference here that he was offered to contest the Rajya Sabha election but he refused as only deserving party leaders should contest.

Sharma, however, took a U-turn Monday when he filed his nomination papers with support from the rebel JD-U legislators.

Sharma, an industrialist, was among the richest candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.

Jaiswal had also contested the Lok Sabha polls as a BJP candidate from Kishanganj constituency but lost.


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