India

Who is Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh?

He is the first deputy chairperson to be elected by a division of votes in the Rajya Sabha since 1992

New Delhi: On Thursday, NDA’s Harivansh Narayan Singh and opposition nominee B K Hariprasad competed for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election, and in a clear contest Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the Deputy Chairman with 125 votes.

UPA nominee BK Hariprasad got 105 votes, 20 less than Singh. The post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman had been vacant since the retirement of PJ Kurien on July 1.

Harivansh has the backing of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his selection is seen as a way to mend the relations between BJP and JD(U) after speculations of Nitish Kumar returning to Grand Alliance ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Here’s all you need to know about newly-elected Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman from BJP-led NDA:
  • Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh Narayan Singh who completed his graduation from Banaras Hindu University, post-graduation in Economics, and Diploma in Journalism, hails from Sitab Diara village in Saran district.
  • He is the first deputy chairperson to be elected by a division of votes in the Rajya Sabha since 1992, when the then Congress candidate Najma Heptullah defeated the then TDP nominee Renuka Choudhary.
  • Singh is a veteran journalist who was the former editor of the Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar.
  • Singh was also an MP from Bihar, and has served as the additional information advisor to socialist veteran Chandra Shekhar, who was India’s PM between November 1990 and June 1991.
  • Starting his career with Hindi weekly Dharmyug in 1977, Singh then took the banking services exam and joined Bank of India in Hyderabad as an Official Language Officer.
  • After his stint as a banker, Harivansh Narayan Singh joined Hindi weekly Ravivar (owned by Ananda Bazar Patrika Group) as an assistant editor and stayed in Kolkata for a couple of years.
  • Harivansh joined Prabhat Khabar in Ranchi in 1989 and eventually became its editor-in-chief, but he quit the daily after becoming a Rajya Sabha member in 2014.
  • After becoming a Member of Parliament, Harivansh adopted Bahuaara village in Rohtas and gave a major part of the MLA LAD fund to open a river study-cum-research centre at Aryabhatta University. He also used the fund for the development of an endangered language centre for at IIT-Patna.
  • Harivansh Narayan Singh has also been a member of the World Editors Forum.
  • He is also known as the brain behind Nitish Kumar’s demand for special status for Bihar.
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