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MJ Akbar is BJP candidate from Jharkhand

Jamshedpur/Ranchi, June 21: Amid much confusion over the name of the candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypoll from Jharkhand, BJP National President on Sunday announced the name of BJP national spokesperson and veteran journalist MJ Akbar as the candidate from the state.

Political circles were a buzz that former CM Arjun Munda might be the candidate but state BJP’s Election Committee on Saturday conducted a merely ceremonial meeting to authorize the Central Election Committee of the party to take a call on the candidate who will fight the Rajya Sabha bypoll scheduled on July 2 in Jharkhand.

The committee meeting attended by State president Ravindra Rai, CM Raghubar Das, Minister CP Singh, Ranchi MP Ram Tahal Chaudhary, State vice president Balmukund Sahay, Deepak Prakash, women’s cell president Usha Pandey among others authorised the Central leadership for taking the decision.

On Sunday it was finalized that BJP national spokesperson MJ Akbar will be the party’s candidate for by-election to a Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand.

“BJP president Amit Shah has decided that MJ Akbar will be the party’s candidate for the Jharkhand Rajya Sabha bypoll,” a party statement said. The by-election to the council of states from Jharkhand has been necessitated following the resignation of Kanwar Deep Singh.

The bypoll will be held on July 2, the last date of filing of nomination for which is June 22 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is June 25. The bypoll results will be out on July 2 and the tenure of the elected member will be up to July 7, 2016.

A former journalist and editor, Akbar has been associated with various publications including India Today, the Asian Age, the Sunday Guardian. He has also authored several non-fiction books. He joined BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

It may be noted that the state leadership kept mum over any names for the possible candidates, former CM Arjun Munda.

Earlier sources close to Munda had said that the senior leader was not too keen to contest the polls but he would accept the directions of the central leadership in any case which wasn’t to be.

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