NEW DELHI: In another show of the opposition unity, the Congress has expressed its willingness to support a joint opposition candidate for the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha and would not impose their own nominee though the grand old party is the second largest party in the upper house of parliament.
On the reports of Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy being the joint candidate, the Congress sources said that no consultations with the TMC over the issue had taken place and the nominee could come from some other party as well. TMC leader Derek O'Brien also denied that the party has given any names and said decision on candidate is yet to be taken.
With Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien retiring on July 2, the opposition has an upper hand to elect his successor in the 245 member house. The monsoons session I scheduled from July 18-August 10. Congress sources said they were open to fielding a joint opposition candidate and the plan is not to let the post go uncontested. They added that the party has taken a decision keeping in mind importance of the larger opposition unity for the 2019 national elections.
The opposition has been working on having regional alliances to take on the BJP in Lok Sabha elections next year. The regional parties like TMC, BJD and TRS have been pushing for non-Congress opposition candidate for the post with the Centre wanting to have a contest for the post. The last contest for the post happened in 1992.