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Can BJP elect its candidate at Rajya Sabha deputy chairman: Here are the numbers

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, July 17: The elections to the post of Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha would be an interesting one. The BJP would like to elect its own candidate and occupy five constitutional posts that include the President of India, Prime Minister, vice-president and Lok Sabha speaker.

    Can BJP elect its candidate at Rajya Sabha deputy chairman: Here are the numbers

    The Congress on the other hand is rallying the opposition would want to get its candidate elected. The Congress has always held the post of deputy chairman except between December 17 1969 and April 1 1972 when B D Khobragade of the Republican Party of India (K) occupied the post.

    For the BJP, which is the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha it would be a numbers game. While it is the single largest party, it is short of the majority number and hence would have to rely on parties such as the BJD or AIADMK to elect its candidate.

    For the candidate to win, he or she would need 123 votes, provided all 244 members of the house cast their vote. One seat from Bihar lies vacant.

    The BJP has 71 members in the Rajya Sabha and with its allies, the count would stand at 115. A lot would depend on the AIADMK which has 13 members. The BJP would count on the BJD which has nine members. If both these parties support the BJP, then it would have no trouble in electing its candidate.

    The opposition on the other hand would bank on the Telugu Desam Party which has 6 members. The opposition together has 117 votes and with the support of the TDP, it would be able to elect its candidate.

    For the opposition the catch however be the selection of the candidate. The TMC is lobbying for Sukhendu Sekhar Ray. If the opposition does give in, there is a remote chance that the CPI(M) would back him.

    Rajya Sabha numbers:

    BJP 71
    JD(U) 06
    SAD 03
    Shiv Sena 03
    BDF 01
    NPF 01
    Republican Party of India (A) 01
    Sikkim Democratic Front 01
    Congress 50
    DMK 04
    IUML 01
    JD(S) 01
    Kerala Congress (M) 01
    RJD 05
    INLD 01
    AIADMK 13
    TMC 13
    SP 13
    BJD 09
    TDP 06
    TRS 06
    CPI(M) 05
    BSP 04
    NCP 04
    AAP 03
    CPI 03
    PDP 02
    YSR Congress 02
    Nominated members 06
    Independents 06
    Total 245

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