Rajya Sabha deputy chairman poll: NDA, opposition struggle to name picks
Ruling NDA likely to field senior JD(U) leader Harivansh from Bihar as its candidate
New Delhi: Indecision over choosing candidates for the post of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha continued till the last minute on Tuesday, as both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and opposition struggled to finalize names.
Wednesday is the last day for filing nomination for the election, which will be conducted on Thursday.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), part of NDA, is annoyed at not being consulted over the candidate. Senior leaders of the SAD argued that while senior Rajya Sabha leader Naresh Gujral was being considered for the top post, BJP leadership decided to informally announce the name of Harivansh Narayan Singh, who is a senior leader of Janata Dal (United) or JD(U).
“We want to know who announced the name of Harivansh. Earlier, it was the name of Naresh Gujral which was being considered; then how was JD(U) leadership given an opportunity to contest the election? When was the decision taken and why was SAD not informed about it?” said a senior SAD leader. Senior leaders of SAD met in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the election and the problems within NDA.
Among the opposition too, there was no consensus on a common candidate. Most opposition parties have decided not to contest, and have decided that as the party with the most MPs in Rajya Sabha among opposition, Congress should field a candidate.
Beginning with Trinamool Congress (TMC) which had said days ago that it would not field a candidate, others including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Left parties made it clear that it will not be one of their candidates.
“It will be a Congress candidate now. A decision will be taken later in the night. Some names including Vandana Chavan of NCP was considered but all other parties said they do not want to field a candidate. How can parties with 4 or 5 seats field a candidate, it won’t be heavyweight candidate?” a senior opposition leader who attended the meetings said, requesting anonymity.
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