NDA candidate is new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman

By PTI Published on Aug 09, 2018 02:27 PM IST

File photo of Harivansh Narayan Singh.

New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal (United) was today elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as he defeated the joint Opposition candidate B K Hariprasad by 20 votes.

The National Democratic Alliance candidate got 125 votes, against the 105 of Opposition candidate Hariprasad.

The proceedings to elect a new Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha began with the NDA moving four motions for its candidate and the Opposition moving five for Hariprasad. The position fell vacant after P J Kurien retired in July.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Congress' 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Odisha Chief Minister on the phone in the third sign in recent weeks of a new warmth in the otherwise frosty, even hostile, relationship with the BJP.

WHO IS HARIVANSH?

* Harivansh is a first-time MP in the Upper House.

* He was elected to Rajya Sabha on the JD(U) ticket in 2014.

* He holds Masters in Arts from Benaras Hindu University.

* He is also considered very close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

* He started his career as journalist with the Times Group and served as the Deputy Editor of reputed 'Dharmyug' magazine till 1981.

* From 1981 to 1984, he worked with the Bank of India.

* He also served as the Assistant Editor of 'Ravivar' magazine till October 1989.

PM TAKES JIBE AT CONG

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at the Congress-led Opposition soon after the NDA won the election for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson.

Commenting on the election, the Prime Minister said: "This time, both sides in this election had a 'Hari' (Harivansh Narayan and B K Hariprasad) but one had a BK, koi nahi bike," he said.