Anil Hegde, the leader of the Janata Dal-United party, was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar in a by-poll called when a party MP died.
Hegde picked up his winner’s certificate at the assembly and drove straight to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s home to thank the party’s de facto leader for surprising the party’s de facto leader by choosing a high-ranking but low-key office bearer for a Rajya Sabha seat.
The death of Mahendra Prasad in December of last year prompted the by-election.
Hegde, who was born in Karnataka and was introduced to Kumar by the late George Fernandes, a Kannadiga who adopted Bihar as his adopted home, will serve till 2024.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on the five seats up for grabs in the state’s biannual elections, which will begin with the issuance of notification on Tuesday.
The JD-U and its ally, the BJP, each hold two of the seats up for election, while the RJD has one.
However, due to a decrease in its power in the assembly, the JD-U is likely to settle for only one seat this time, benefiting the RJD.
Union minister RCP Singh, whose tenure is due to expire, is the frontrunner for the JD-U ticket.
Singh, a former IAS official from Uttar Pradesh who retired voluntarily to enter politics, has risen quickly since joining the JD-U in 2010.