Contest for deputy chair
The post of the Deputy Chairperson Rajya Sabha lying vacant since PJ Kurien’s term ended will finally be filled up on August 9. The ruling dispensation fielded Harivansh Naryana Singh, an MP from ally JD-U, for the post and appeared rather upbeat on scooping it up. It’s counting heavly on support from the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and YSRC, apart from its regular NDA allies. Their tally could go up to anything between 119 and 126. Well, even then an election seems on the cards. The Opposition is confabulating on the joint candidate, DMK’s Trichi Shiva and independent member KTS.
Tulsi’s names are doing the rounds. The NCP and the TMC were given the first and second choice by the Congress and the Left bloc, both willing to support an opposition candidate. Neither the NCP nor the TMC were not keen on the contest. NCP’s Praful Patel quipped: “We’re offering our support is that not enough?” Though TMC’s Sukendu Sekhar Roy’s name was in the reckoning earlier, the Left is not willing to back a TMC candidate. There’s a possibility that the Shiv Sena, acting rather disgruntled with its old friend BJP of late, may abstain or even vote against the treasury (of which it’s a part). There’s no provision of a whip in this election. BJD or AIADMK usually never voted against the BJP, but are being persuaded by Didi. So, is the TSR to at least abstain.
Victory for TDP
Meanwhile, the opposition was rather pleased with a minor victory in the Parliamentary Accounts
Committee elections, apparently thrust upon them by the BJP/NDA. The PAC headed by the Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, had two vacancies from the Rajya Sabha. TDP’s CM Ramesh got re-elected with a whooping 110 out of the 205 votes, defeating BJP/NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh. The latter got a meager 26 votes.
The second seat was won by BJP’s Bhupinder Yadav, 69 votes. It was a sweet revenge of sorts for the opposition which had advised the treasury to avoid contest, instead get Harivansh adjusted in the Committee of Public Undertakings (COPU). However, a senior TMC leader claimed, BJP chief Amit Shah preferred a contest —and “here’s the result!”
RS passes NCBC Bill
Taking part in the debate on the NCBC amendment bill, seeking to accord constitutional status (to the National Commission of Backward Classes), TKS Elanvogan, made a curious argument. The DMK MP pointed out, the ‘forward castes’ actually have around 50 per cent reservation. Just how? The general category is nothing but reservation for the upper caste, he added. Demanding the caste census be tabled, he added once those figures out, it’ll easily be proved that the upper caste have much greater share of pie than the OBCs or the SC/STs.