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RS Deputy Chairman election: NCP's Vandana Chavan to be Opposition's candidate

By Deepika

New Delhi, Aug 7: The opposition has reportedly picked Vandana Chavan from Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as the candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker.

Image posted on Facebook by Vandana Chavan

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

After a second round of meeting today, the Opposition concluded that Chavan would be able to get the support of all opposition parties and even a few of NDA allies.

"Though we would again meet but it's almost finalised that Chavan of NCP would be the Opposition candidate," a senior opposition party leader said.

Most opposition parties raised no objection on Chavan's name during the meeting but they have left room for any possible last-minute change.

Chavan, whose name was proposed by Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra and seconded by TMC leader Derek O'Brien, received every opposition party's support, including the Congress.

However the Congress has not yet completely ruled out the possibility of having its own candidate. It would be about winnability, the Congress said.

Harivansh Narayan Singh is the candidate from the ruling alliance. He belongs to Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United.

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.

The post of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman has been lying vacant since June this year after the retirement of PJ Kurien, who was elected to the upper house on a Congress ticket from Kerala.


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