Patna, March 5: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is seeking re-election to the state legislative council, will file his nomination papers on Tuesday, a senior JD(U) leader said. Kumar, who heads the JD(U), will be contesting for a fourth consecutive term in the Upper House, to which he first got elected in 2006, a few months after becoming the chief minister.

The JD(U) president's current term ends in May. However, the Election Commission recently announced biennial polls for 11 seats of the Bihar Vidhan Parishad, including the one held by the CM. Of the 11 seats, the JD(U) held four, the largest number for any single party. In view of its diminished tally in the assembly, however, the party is conceding two seats to ally BJP, which has grown numerically stronger. ‘Hum Idhar Gayab Ho Gaye The’: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Says ‘Will Not Go Here and There’ As PM Narendra Modi Laughs in Aurangabad (Watch Video)

JD(U) leaders said that sitting MLC Khalid Anwar was likely to be considered for a second consecutive term. The BJP is yet to announce its candidates, though Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary, who is also the party's state president, said, "We will contest four seats and leave one for our partner Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM)." Bihar: CM Nitish Kumar Rules Out Free Electricity in State, Says ‘Already Giving Subsidies on Electricity’

HAM is helmed by former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose son Santosh Suman is a minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, and happens to be among those whose legislative council term ends in two months. In 2018, Suman had won the seat with help from the HAM's then ally RJD. Two of the seats, for which elections are due, were held by the RJD's Rabri Devi, a former chief minister and at present the leader of the opposition in the legislative council, and Ram Chandra Purve, who is the deputy chairman of the the Upper House.

One seat was held by Prem Chandra Mishra of the Congress. Meanwhile, Samrat Choudhary cryptically added, "Seven is the minimum number of seats that the NDA will contest. If the need arises, we may fight for more." The statement came in the backdrop of seven MLAs of the RJD and Congress joining the BJP, which has fuelled speculations that more may jump ship and join the ruling coalition. Filing of nominations will come to a close on March 11, and the last date for the withdrawal is March 14. Voting is scheduled for March 21.