New Delhi, Aug 7: The fight between the NDA and a joint opposition would yet again be put to test on August 9, when the elections to the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha will be held.
Although the opposition is yet to decide on who its candidate would be, but the NDA would most likely go ahead with JD(U) leader Harivansh Narayan Singh. On Monday there was hectic activity in Parliament, when several leaders of the opposition met to finalise a candidate.
From the opposition camp, the front-runners to the post currently are Tiruchi Siva of the DMK and Vandana Chavan of the NCP. However the Congress has not yet completely ruled out the possibility of having its own candidate. It would be about winnability, the Congress said.
Going by the existing situation, the NDA does not have the numbers on its side. It has the support of 90 MPs in the Upper House with parties such as the BPF, JD(U), NPF, RPI, SAD and SDF backing it.
The NDA would also look for the support of three out of the four nominated members. Going by these numbers, the NDA is still short of around 32 votes. To win the election in the 245 member house, a candidate would require the support of 123 members.
The opposition on the other hand has the support of 112 MPs which includes the Congress, AAP, TMC, BSP, CPI (M), DMK, IUML, JD(S), Kerala Congress, NCP, RLD, PDP, SP, and TDP. With these numbers, the opposition is still short by 11 members.
All eyes would be on the BJD, Shiv Sena, INLD, TRS and YSR Congress Party. It is still not clear which way the Shiv Sena would vote. In the recently held no confidence motion, the Shiv Sena said that it had abstained from voting. The BJD too had abstained from voting.
While the AIADMK had backed the BJP during the trust vote, this time around it would be interesting to see which way the party votes. With 12 members in the RS, this party could make all the difference for the BJP to edge past the opposition's candidate. The united opposition is hoping that some of the votes of the AIADMK is likely to get split as the party does not have a chief whip in the Upper House.
Table: Rajya Sabha numbers, party wise
|Rajya Sabha Strength||245|
|Aam Aadmi Party||03|
|Bahujan Samaj Party||04|
|Communist Party of India||02|
|Communist Party of India (M)||05|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||04|
|Indian Union Muslim League||01|
|Kerala Congress (M)||01|
|Nationalist Congress Party||04|
|Rashtriya Janata Dal||05|
|Telegu Desam Party||06|