NDA Candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh was on Thursday elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman with 125 votes. Harivansh is a first-time MP of the JD-U.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu initiated the process of the election by calling for division of votes in the House. UPA's BK Hariprasad got 105 votes.
Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi reacted to the results and said "sometimes we win and sometimes we lose."
The post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman had been lying vacant since the retirement of P J Kurien on July 1.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated Singh on his election as the deputy chairman. "I congratulate Harivansh ji on behalf of the whole house. He has been blessed with the talent of writing. He was also a favourite of former PM Chandra Shekhar ji," he said.
PM Narendra Modi congratulates NDA Candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh who was elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman pic.twitter.com/lTy2yRpxik— ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2018
The BJP had issued a whip to its MPs to be present in the house for the voting. Union Minister Arun Jaitley attended the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for the first time after undergoing a renal transplant in May. Jaitley is also the Leader of the Upper House.
The AAP decided to "boycott" the election, blaming Congress' attitude.
"Looking at Congress's attitude we have decided to abstain from voting for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Congress is the biggest obstacle in Opposition's unity," AAP MP Sanjay Singh said.
Singh said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal rejected his Bihar counterpart and JD(U) President Nitish Kumar's request to support the NDA nominee, Harivansh Narayan Singh, in the election as he has the backing of the BJP.
Meanwhile, the BJD had extended its support to the NDA candidate. “Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had spoken to me and our party will support the JD(U) candidate in the Rajya Sabha’s deputy chairman election,” Patnaik had said.
The numbers were stacked in favour of the ruling coalition which claims the support of 126 members in the Upper House, which has an effective strength of 244 MPs.
The opposition camp claimed support of various parties, including Congress, TMC, DMK, Left parties, SP, BSP, NCP, TDP , but fell short of required numbers.