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Published On: Thu, Aug 9th, 2018

Rajya Sabha is now with Hari Bharose……..

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DY RSNEW DELHI : The National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal (United) was on Thursday elected as the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha as he defeated the joint Opposition candidate BK Hariprasad by 20 votes.The NDA candidate got 125 votes as against 105 of Opposition candidate BK Hariprasad.

The position fell vacant after PJ Kurien retired in July. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Congress party’s Ghulam Nabi Azad and many others congratulated Harivansh after he was elected as the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman.

Much ahead of the voting, the NDA was confident of winning the post though it does not enjoy a majority in the Upper House, due to apparent division in the Opposition camp.

In a major boost to the BJP-led NDA, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) extended its support to Harivansh after PM Narendra Modi spoke to the Odisha Chief Mminister on the phone in the third sign in recent weeks of a new warmth in the otherwise frosty, even hostile, relationship with the BJP.

The government had an easy victory in the election for the post of the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, as the opposition came up short in a contest that was seen as a test for its unity in the run-up to the 2019 national election. The opposition votes fell below the expected 110 as lawmakers – three from Congress, two from the DMK, three from Samajwadi Party and two from Trinamool Congress – stayed out.
First -time lawmaker Harivansh from Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (U) Congratulating Harivansh, a former journalist who uses only one name, PM Modi said, “Harivansh ji is well read and has written a lot. He has served society for years”. Then in a jovial tone, he added,  “With him (Mr Singh) in the Rajya Sabha, things are now hari bharose, hari kripa“.
Over the last two days, BJP chief Amit Shah had also diligently worked the phones, managing to get the support of miffed allies Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, who initially decided to abstain.

On the other side, the absence of a phone call from Rahul Gandhi made Arvind Kejriwal decide to boycott the election. “If Rahul Gandhi can hug Narendra Modi, why cannot he ask Arvind Kejriwal for support to his party’s candidate,” said party leader Sanjay Singh.

Besides Arvind Kejriwal’s party, the YSR Congress and Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP stayed out. Ms Mufti, whose alliance with the BJP ended recently, had initially indicated that she would support the opposition.
The opposition camp had the support of Trinamool Congress, DMK, Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Nationalist Congress Party. A recent addition was Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, which exited the NDA earlier this year.

The opposition was also expecting the support of YSR Congress. The party said the choice was between the “devil and the deep blue sea… so we have chosen to not go with either”. Party leader Vijay Sai Reddy also added that they “would have supported a candidate chosen by a third party, not the Congress”.

The 62-year-old was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in April 2014. He is a post-graduate in Economics and holds a diploma in Journalism. Before entering into the world of politics, he was a journalist for many years. Though he secured a government job as a bank officer, he chose to work as a journalist.

Mr. Harivansh had briefly worked as an adviser to the former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar but went back to journalism after that government fell. He has a 89% attendance in the current Rajya Sabha (With Agency Inputs ).

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