Unity test likely for opposition during RS deputy chairman’s election

New Delhi: In a run up next year’s Lok Sabha polls, the opposition is expected to undergo a unity test during the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s election in the upcoming monsoon session of the parliament.

Amid the speculations that Trinamool Congress (TMC) may root for its MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy as the common Opposition candidate for the deputy chairperson’s post, there are talks that players from the ‘federal front’ and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) might end up taking measured stand on the nomination.

The election has been warranted as the Congress leader and current Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson retired from the Upper House on July 2.

As per reports, Congress has hinted that it is open to supporting the opposition but a final decision would only be taken only after the party comes to know about the proposed candidate.

Moreover, the Congress insiders have said that the party has also opened communications with Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Trinamool, its rivals in Odisha and West Bengal respectively, to analyse the possibility of running a common candidate.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday said it has not yet finalised any name for the deputy chairperson’s post so far.

“No decision on opposition candidate for deputy chairman. We have not put up any name. United Opposition will come up with a name later,” Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha parliamentarian Derek O’Brien said on Wednesday.

However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who shares a good rapport with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has said that the Left would not back any Trinamool candidate.

“Under any circumstances, will not support a Trinamool nominee,” Yechury said, adding a fresh dimension to the struggle within the Opposition to put up a joint fight against the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).