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 BJP 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.>