Tue, 05 Jul 2022 04:12 PM IST
A month after Rajya Sabha elections were concluded and BJP grabbed most of the seats, clouds of uncertainty still loom over the future of two Union Ministers whose terms as Rajya Sabha MPs end in a couple of days. The term of Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Steel Minister RCP Singh as Rajya Sabha MPs will end on July 7.
While Naqvi is a senior BJP leader, Singh belongs to BJP ally in Bihar JD(U) and is considered as number 2 in the party after CM Nitish Kumar. However, their respective parties have refrained from sending them to the upper house for another term. As per the rules, both ministers will have to give up their cabinet seats if they fail to get elected as MPs in the next six months after their terms end on July 7.
Earlier in May, when BJP released the list of its nominees for Rajya Sabha, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's name was excluded from the list. This came as a shock to many as after Naqvi's term ends, the BJP will not have any Muslim MP in either of the houses of Parliament. Whereas, RCP Singh, who was once a close confidante of Nitish Kumar, was dropped as JDU nominee for Rajya Sabha over his close proximity to BJP and speculations that he will join the saffron brigade.
While there is no buzz over RCP Singh's future, except that he will join the BJP in the next 3-4 months, several speculations over Naqvi's future have started to float. As per several media reports, the BJP is likely to nominate Naqvi as its candidate for the Vice Presidential elections or at least Governor/Lieutenant Governor of some state or Union Territory.
Many also have speculated that Naqvi will be appointed as the LG of Jammu and Kashmir. He will be the first Muslim LG of the erstwhile state if appointed. Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday clarified that RCP Singh has not joined the BJP, after his presence in Hyderabad during BJP National Executive Meet triggered speculations.
"This news is completely misleading that RCP Singh has joined BJP at the party's national executive meeting. He came to Hyderabad for a government programme and was welcomed by BJP workers at the airport who were already present there," Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, seven seats in the Rajya Sabha are still vacant and they will be filled after the president's nomination. It is also speculated that both the minister in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre will be sent to Rajya Sabha on President's recommendation. The Election Commission has announced the schedule for vice-presidential elections and the ruling NDA is likely to announce its candidate by mid-July.