(Adding Chief Ministers quotes) Patna, Mar 17 (PTI) Former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha and two members of the Nitish Kumar cabinet were among 12 persons who on Wednesday got nominated to the Bihar legislative council.
Of the dozen seats, 10 had been lying vacant since the expiry of term in June last year while two others were vacated a year earlier by members who got elected to the Lok Sabha in general elections.
All the 12 nominees were later administered the oath of office by Acting Chairman Awadhesh Narain Singh in the presence of the chief minister, who was on the previous day authorised by the state cabinet to take a final call on selecting the members.
Nominations to the 12 seats had been hanging fire on account of a tug of war between the BJP, which now is numerically superior in the NDA in the assembly, and chief minister Nitish Kumars JD(U).
Both parties have, ultimately, settled for six seats each.
'I am glad that now the Upper House has no vacant seats', the chief minister, who is himself an MLC, told reporters after the swearing in.
'Many of the members have previously been MLCs. A few may be first timers. The ongoing budget session will continue till March 24. So we decided that oath-taking be expedited so that they get a chance to participate in the proceedings', he added.
The MLCs nominated from the JD(U) include Kushwaha who merged his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party into the Chief Ministers party on Sunday last and was immediately rewarded with a top organizational post.
Also on the list are the minister for building construction Ashok Choudhary, the partys voluble spokesman Sanjay Singh, the chief minister's close aide Sanjay Kumar Singh alias Gandhiji, Lalan Saraf and Ram Bachan Rai.
Sanjay Singh returns to the Upper House after a gap of nearly three years. The terms of Choudhary, Gandhiji, Saraf and Rai had expired a year ago.
From the BJP, the MLCs nominated include Janak Ram, a former Gopalganj MP who was recently made the states minister for mines and geology.
Others from the party include journalist-turned-politician and state general secretary Devesh Kumar and vice president Pramod Kumar Chandravanshi, besides Nivedita Singh, Ghanshyam Thakur and Rajendra Kumar Gupta. PTI NAC SNS SNS