New Delhi: Harivansh, senior leader of Janata Dal (United) or JDU was elected as the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha on Thursday. It marks the end of Congress’ nearly four decades long dominance on the number two post in the Upper House.
Harivansh, who got 125 votes in his favour, defeated joint opposition candidate B K Hariprasad of Congress who got the support of 105 members of Rajya Sabha. “As per voting, ayes got 125 noes got 105. The motion is carried and I declare that Shri Harivansh has been declared as the new deputy chairman," M. Venkaiah Naidu, chairman of the Rajya Sabha declared. Nine motions were moved and seconded by members in Rajya Sabha which included 5 for Hariprasad and 4 for Harivansh. Since the motion for Harivansh was first in the order, it was taken up first. A voice vote was inconclusive and so a division of vote took place.
After his election, Harivansh was taken to Opposition benches where he met Opposition leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, walked towards him and greeted him.
“Today we mark the anniversary of the Quit India Movement. Harivansh Ji hails from Ballia, a land linked with freedom fighters. He has been inspired by Loknayak JP. He also spent time in Varanasi. Here is a leader who worked with a statesman like Chandra Shekhar Ji," Modi said in his welcome address.
“I heartily congratulate the new deputy chairman on behalf of me, my party and the entire opposition. Elections take place in democracy for all positions but once someone gets elected to a constitutional post, that leader no longer remains from one party or community, they belong to the country, to every party and every community," Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader said in his welcome address.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was present in the House, also welcomed Harivansh. “This House has expressed trust in Harivansh to be the deputy chairman and I congratulate him for it. He has been a parliamentarian and we have seen him in that role," Jaitley said. “I am hopeful you will run the House very efficiently and try your best to increase the level of public discourse in the country."