NEW DELHI: With three regional parties BJD, TRS and YSRCP holding the key to the election of Rajya Sabha's deputy chairman, both the ruling NDA and the opposition parties are trying to woo them.
The opposition's combined strength in the upper house including the erstwhile BJP-ally TDP has 117 votes.
But the winning candidate will require 122 votes in the 245-member house.
The BJP, which is the single largest party in the Upper House has the support of 106 members, including that of 14 AIADMK members.
According to sources, TMC's leader Derek O'Brien is trying to build consensus to field a non-congress, but Congress-backed candidate from the opposition.
The names of TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and BJD leader Prasanna Acharya are doing the rounds for the post.
The BJD with 9 members in the upper house, however, has been maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress and is yet to decide which way to go.
Similarly, the other two parties - TRS with 6 members and the YSRCP with two members - are yet to open their cards on this crucial election which is seen as a test of the opposition's unity.
According to sources on both sides, the 17 members from these three parties will be deciding factor in electing the next deputy chairman.
The floor managers of the ruling party are also in touch with these three parties, as all of them had supported the BJP during the presidential election last year.
The BJD later, however, had extended its support to the Congress candidate for the Vice-President post.