HYDERABAD: Announcement of election to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post on August 9 has created political heat in the national capital. Ruling BJP and main Opposition Congress are planning ahead to grab the post for their allies. BJP or Congress does not have enough strength to win the post. Therefore, the support of TRS and TD, including BJD is important.
Usually, in a 245-member Rajya Sabha, halfway mark to win deputy chairman Post is 123. The present strength of Rajya Sabha is 244 (one is vacant) and to win the deputy chairman Post, the support of 122 members is required. The BJP or the Congress does not have enough strength to win the post on their own. In this crucial election, the support of TRS and TD, including BJD is important.
Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday announced that the election will be held on Thursday. The last date for filing nominations will be 12 noon on Wednesday. The post has been vacant for over a month after Mr P.J. Kurien of the Cong-ress retired on July 1. Opposition parties said that they would not support a BJP candidate. Even within the Opposition, several parties said that they will not support a Congress candidate for this post. Both the BJP and the Congress have decided to field a candidate from their allies.
The ruling BJP-led NDA has 108 members’ support and the Opposition, led by Congress, has 121 members’ support. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with nine MPs and the TRS with six MPs did not open their stand. The TD with six members is likely to support an Opposition candidate, in the present political scenario. If BJD and TRS support the ruling party, the NDA’s strength will go to 123. In the recent no-confidence motion against the NDA government, both the BJD and the TRS abstained from voting. Currently, the BJD’s stand is to maintain equal distance from the BJP and the Congress in National politics. If only the TRS supports, NDA’s strength will become 114.
Sources in the BJP said that it was planning to field an Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral as its candidate. The reason behind this is that BJD chief Navin Patnaik and TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu have close relations with Naresh Gujral’s family and they may support him for the deputy chairman post. But Naresh Gujral has made it clear that he will contest only if he is a candidate selected on consensus. With this, now the BJP is trying to field Prasanna Acharya of BJD as its candidate. Meanwhile, Congress is planning to field a candidate from National Congress Party Sharat Pawar or from Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee.