Rajya Sabha deputy chairman election today: BJP confident, Congress shaky

New Delhi: Thursday is the day of election to the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The NDA, however, despite the numbers in the Upper House, seems confident of pulling off a surprise.

The Congress is rather having a tough time getting the other Opposition parties together to rally behind its candidate and is therefore 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.

Reposrts suggest 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 party Biju Janata Dal’s support for the NDA nominee.

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.

The election will be held within a few hours. The winner is decided by a simple majority.