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RS Deputy Chairman election: The Congress could have avoided embarrassment in choosing a consensus candidate
NDA candidate and JD(U) member Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as Rajya Sabha deputy chairman defeating Congress candidate BK Hariprasad by twenty votes (125-105) on Thursday. It was clear that NDA's candidate will win after the NCP withdrew Vandana's candidature.

On 3 June 2018, I had also predicted that NDA's candidate would win in the article 'Who will replace PJ Kurien as Rajya Sabha deputy chairman in the upcoming monsoon session?' published in this platform.

Interestingly, I had thought that the TRS and BJD would abstain and the AIADMK will support the NDA. But the BJP was able to get support from both the TRS and BJD while YSRCP, AAP and PDP abstained. AAP and PDP were supposed to support Congress' candidate in the name of opposition's unity. But the myth of opposition unity was once again busted. This is second time in continuation after the trust vote in the Lok Sabha that Congress has faced embarrassment.

Being the main opposition party, Congress should have avoided such an embarrassment. There are rivalries among various regional parties like between the DMK and AIADMK, TDP and YSRCP, Shiv Sena and NCP, NC and PDP, etc. Furthermore, there are parties like the BJD and TRS who want to remain equidistant from both the Congress and the BJP but at the same time are more inclined towards the BJP. Interestingly, it appears that there's competition going on between the opposition parties.

Coming back to the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman election, some Congress leaders blamed the BJP for making no efforts on forming a consensus. Congressman Raashid Alvi told to a TV channel that out of the total 19 times that RS deputy speaker elections had been held 14 times the deputy chairman was elected unanimously. However, Alvi should realise that all those unanimous elections were only during Congress' rule at the Centre. During the Vajapayee –led NDA government's rule the BJP had agreed on a consensus candidate of the Congress and thus expected the same courtesy.

Probably that's why the Modi government didn't offer the deputy speaker post to the Congress party.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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