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Opposition to Back Joint Candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman as it Looks For Win Over BJP

Sources present at the all-party meet said that a joint candidate will be announced and backed by all parties. However, the name of the candidate was not announced.

News18.com

Updated:July 16, 2018, 8:07 PM IST
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Opposition to Back Joint Candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman as it Looks For Win Over BJP
File photo of Parliament. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: The opposition parties have decided to finalise a consensus candidate for elections to the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha at a meeting called by the Congress on Monday.

Sources present at the all-party meet said that a joint candidate will be announced and backed by all parties. However, the name of the candidate was not announced. That will be done after the notification for the elections is released, sources said.

Leaders from the Congress and various other parties met in the office of the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House.

Election to the post of deputy chairman is being seen as a key test for opposition parties led by Congress, as they look to retain the position. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is in minority in the upper house, is also keen that a candidate of its choice wins the election. The term of deputy chairman P.J. Kurien ended on July 1.

The opposition parties also formulated a joint strategy to corner the government on various issues during the Monsoon Session of Parliament starting July 18.

The BJP has now emerged as the single largest party in the upper house but is short of a clear majority. It is short of numbers to get its deputy chairman.

The Congress, on the other hand, is attempting to forge a larger coalition to get the post for an opposition candidate. The party has even indicated its willingness to concede the seat to a regional party.

Among the names doing the rounds for the post include Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.

The sources also indicated that the post may go to the NCP. The names of the candidates have not been formally discussed and it was the first time that the issue was taken up during the meeting.

The sources, however, said that the ruling NDA is keen on fielding its candidate and is seeking the support of some parties like the BJD and the AIADMK. The name of Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral is doing the rounds for the post from the ruling coalition.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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