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NCP's Vandana Chavan Set to be Opposition Candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Election

The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena are upset with reports of NDA deciding to nominate JDU MP and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar aide Harivansh for the contest.

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Updated:August 7, 2018, 5:42 PM IST
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NCP's Vandana Chavan Set to be Opposition Candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Election
Image: Vandana Chavan /Facebook
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New Delhi: The opposition parties may nominate Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Vandana Chavan as a joint candidate for the the election of the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman slated for Thursday.

Chavan is a second-time Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra. She is also been a member of the state legislative council.

Floor leaders of the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha met on Tuesday afternoon in Parliament after NDA decided to field JD(U) MP and Nitish Kumar aide Harivansh.

Earlier, there were reports that two NDA allies are contemplating to abstain from voting during the election of the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman slated for Thursday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena are upset with reports of NDA deciding to nominate JDU MP and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar aide Harivansh for the contest.

Seeking to garner support for the NDA candidate Harivansh for the elections of the deputy chairman Rajya Sabha, Bihar CM and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar telephoned and requested Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao to support his party candidate.

Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao is learnt to have told his Bihar counterpart that he would "discuss with party colleagues and take a final decision on this soon.

The NDA lacks numbers in the Upper House of parliament in what is boiling down to a close contest with opposition keeping its card close to the chest.

The SAD is said to be upset as party MP Naresh Gujral was also considered a contender for the position which fell vacant after Congress MP PJ Kurian's term got over earlier this year.

Shiv Sena, the other NDA ally upset with the move has had a running battle with the BJP in the last two years. The Sena did not vote for the government in the Lok Sabha in the recent trust vote against the BJP-led NDA government.

With numbers evenly stacked, smaller regional parties and satraps may hold the key as to who would be the next deputy chairman of the RS.

Both the Shiv Sena and the SAD have three MPs each in the RS. If BJP were to nominate a JDU candidate for the elections, the party would be trying to mend fences in what is being seen as an attempt to reach out to the smaller allies.

Nomination of a non-BJP MP is also being seen as an attempt by the government to reach out to regional satraps.

Parties like ADMK, TRS, YSRC and BJD who may due to local politics compulsions find difficult to support a BJP candidate can come around to back a JDU nominee.

The four parties who together have 30 votes may hold the key to the elections.

The UPA floor leaders will meet again today to finalise their joint candidate.



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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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