NEW DELHI: The BJP-led NDA’s candidate
Harivansh Narayan Singh was on Thursday elected new Rajya Sabha (RS) deputy chairman with 125 votes. The UPA’s candidate,Congress
MP BK Hariprasad, got 105 votes.
“I congratulate Harivansh ji on behalf of the whole house. He has been blessed with the talent of writing. He was also a favourite of former PM Chandra Shekhar ji,” said PM Narendra Modi, right after the results.
Harivansh is a JD(U) Parliamentarian from Bihar and a former journalist. Hariprasad is Congress MP from Karnataka.
The RS deputy chairman post fell vacant after the retirement of Congress’ PJ Kurien on July 1.
Following the failed no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha last month, the contest for the post of RS deputy chairman was being seen as the next big test of opposition unity.
In nominating a JD(U) candidate, the
was attempting to reach out to its allies who have been complaining about being left out.
The lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha has been a big problem for the BJP. Now, of course, it’s advantageous for the BJP to have its candidate win because the chairman (Venkaiah Naidu) and his deputy in the RS will both be its choices.
The BJD (with nine seats) on Wednesday threw its weight behind BJP-led NDA in the election for the deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha giving the ruling coalition a clear edge.
“BJD is supporting JD(U) since JD (U) and BJD have similar ideological origins-emerging from Jay Prakash Narayan movement. Congress candidate was AICC in-charge of Odisha till recently and was vitriolic in his statements against BJD and state,” said the BJD in a statement to news agency ANI, just before voting began in the RS.
On Wednesday, BJP national chief Amit Shah, Sanjay Raut, leader of BJP’s restive ally Shiv Sena, Akali Dal’s S S Dhindsa and JD (U)’s RCP Singh submitted four sets of papers in support of Harivansh.
*Congress MP Hariprasad’s candidature, on the other hand, was backed by BSP’s Satish Mishra, NCP’s Vandana Chavan, Congress’s Anand Sharma, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav and RJD’s Misa Bharati.