National Democratic Alliance candidate and Janata Dal (United) MP Harivansh Narayan Singh has won the election for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post. He defeated the Congress backed opposition candidate BK Hariprasad by 125 against 105 votes. This is a huge win for the BJP backed candidate which has taken place just prior to the end of the monsoon session. It was an uphill task for NDA parties to garner the necessary support for its candidate considering it was not in majority in the Upper House. BJP had 73 MPs which when combined with the rest of the MPs from the NDA made the tally go up to 85, this was way short of the 123 figure needed to win the post. The winning mark was brought down by AAP and PDP abstaining from voting in the elections, the final mark was therefore restricted to 119 with DMK MP Kanimozhi not attending the election owing to her father’s death. A total of 8 MPs were absent from the house which brought down the strength of the house to 236, making 119 the majority mark.
Propping up a non-BJP candidate for the post helped BJP get the support of the non-aligned parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with 9 MPs and Telangana Rashtra Samiti with 6 MPs readily agreeing to support JD(U)’s Harivansh Narayan Singh. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with their 13 MPs also came in support of the NDA along with 6 independent MPs such as Subhash Chandra from Haryana and Parimal Nathwani from Jharkhand too voted in their favour. The NDA therefore quite easily reached the 119 mark with the help of coalition, non-aligned and independent candidates. The icing on the cake came from the MPs from the states of Assam and Sikkim, where the MPs of Sikkim Democratic Front and Bodoland People’s Front voted in favour of the NDA.
A 125 against 105 victory shows how fractured the opposition really is in India and for the BJP it is a huge boost of confidence, coming not just from the people but from the representatives of the Rajya Sabha. While BJP and the NDA celebrates this win it is also a huge sign for the upcoming elections and it shows a trailer of how the fractures in opposition are now apparent.