Patna, Feb. 2: The Bihar NDA used the occasion of K.C. Tyagi's filing of nomination papers for Rajya Sabha seat to display its unity.
The seat fell vacant following the resignation of rebel party leader Upendra Kushwaha.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, chief minister Nitish Kumar, state party chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP chief Mangal Pandey, NDA convener in Bihar Nand Kishore Yadav and party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain accompanied Tyagi, the Dal principal general secretary, as he filed his papers.
In an apparent bid to convey the "message" that he was all for unity in the NDA, Nitish said: "The party (JD-U), in consultation with the alliance partner (BJP), has decided to send Tyagi, the party's principal general secretary, to the Rajya Sabha."
By agreeing to send Tyagi to the Upper House, Nitish appears inclined to keep Sharad in good humour in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. Sharad reportedly held "grudge" against the Nitish for ignoring his choices while selecting the representatives for the Rajya Sabha in the past.
A former MP from Uttar Pradesh, Tyagi is a close confidante to party chief Sharad Yadav and has been in queue for the Upper House seat ever since the Nitish-led NDA came to power. Tyagi's name cropped up whenever the JD(U) entered the Rajya Sabha poll fray.
Sources said many a time, Sharad tried to force Tyagi's name for the RS seat in the past but failed to get Nitish's concurrence.
Kushwaha's exit is believed to have given another opportunity to Sharad to get his "long-time loyalist" in the RS. Sharad said: "K.C. Tyagi has been a socialist activist ever since the 1974 Jayaprakash Narayan-led movement against Emergency. His induction in the Upper House will strengthen the organisation."
The accommodation of Sharad's prot�g�e is also being interpreted as a "prelude" to Sharad retaining his position as the party's national president at the organisational election due later this month. Tyagi was full with gratitude for his leadership. "I will tirelessly work for the party and for Bihar in Parliament," he said.
The last date of filing the papers is February 4 and names can be withdrawn on February 7.
The election, if needed, will take place on February 14. But Tyagi's election is a foregone conclusion with the NDA (JD-U+BJP) having 206 MLAs in the 243-member House and the united alliance standing behind him rock solid.