Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election, NDA’s Harivansh Singh wins with 125 votes

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NDA’s candidate, Harivansh Narayan Singh of the JD(U), was elected Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on Wednesday after winning 125 votes in the House. Opposition candidate and senior Congress leader B K Hariprasad received only 105 votes.

The Biju Janata Dal ( BJD) with nine MPs supported the NDA candidate after Nitish Kumar gave Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik a call, increasing Harivansh’s margin.

The majority in the House which has an effective strength of 244 came down after some parties abstained from voting. Aam Aadmi Party said ahead of voting that they were keeping away because they never got a call from Congress president Rahul Gandhi asking them to back the Opposition candidate.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was present during voting, walked up to Singh to congratulate him after the process was complete. “He had earlier run a column on how the parliamentarians of the country should work. Little did he know that he will one day be the Deputy Chairperson of the House. We all will benefit from his experience,” Modi said. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress member Ghulam Nabi Azad also congratulated Harivansh Singh. Union Minister Arun Jaitley, meanwhile, made his first public appearance in three months today as he entered the Parliament complex for the election.

The post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman has been lying vacant since the retirement of P J Kurien on July 1.

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