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RS Dy. Chairman poll: BJP ally SAD likely to abstain


New Delhi, Aug 7: The Shiromani Akali Dal, an ally of the BJP, may abstain from the election to the post of the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, sources said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of SAD leaders at the residence of its President Sukhbir Badal.

RS Dy. Chairman poll: BJP ally SAD likely to abstain

The party has three lawmakers in the upper house, including Naresh Gujral, whose name was also in contention. The BJP-led NDA lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier on Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announced in the House that the election will be held at 11 am on August 9.

He also suggested that the deputy chairman should be elected by consensus. The nomination papers will have to be filed before noon on August 8.

The post of the deputy chairman has been lying vacant since June following the retirement of P J Kurien, who was elected to the Upper House of Parliament on a Congress ticket from Kerala.

While the BJP-led NDA did not make any formal announcement, sources said Harivansh, a first-time parliamentarian, is likely to be their choice for the post.

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