All eyes will on the election to the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha today as the NDA, which despite lacking the numbers in the Upper House, seems pretty confident of pulling off a surprise.
The Congress on the other hand seems to be having a tough time getting other Opposition parties to rally behind its candidate and is involved in hectic last-minute parleys with regional parties in securing an ‘anti-BJP front’ inside the House.
Harivansh Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal (United) and BK Hariprasad of the Congress filed their nomination as NDA and UPA candidates respectively for election to the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s post. The position fell vacant after PJ Kurien retired in July.
It was learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and Bihar chief minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to seek his Biju Janata Dal’s support for the NDA nominee.
Who stands where in the Rajya Sabha.
Kumar also called up Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to seek support. But while the BJD and TRS have not yet made their stand clear, the YSR Congress has said it would vote against the NDA.
BJP sources expect Harivansh to get the support of 126 members in the Upper House, which has an effective strength of 244 MPs.
Harivansh, a first-timer in the Upper House and a former editor of Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar, is considered close to Kumar. Hariprasad, a Congress MP from Karnataka, on the other hand, is into his third term in the Rajya Sabha.
The election will be held within a few hours from now. Party whips are not allowed in this poll. The winner is decided by a simple majority.
First Published: Aug 09, 2018 06:13 IST