NEW DELHI: After the five Assembly election results, it’s clear that the Congress party cannot get its candidate elected as Vice-President. With 206 MPs in Lok Sabha and 70 in the Rajya Sabha of a total of 786 MPs, the Congress does not have the numbers or the arithmetic to impose a candidate of its choice on either its allies and on those supporting the party from outside.
The magic figure of 393 is needed for the ruling Congress to ensure its candidate gets elected which means its still short of 19 votes. UPA circles are buzzing with the names of veteran Congress leaders like Karan Singh, Union Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Sushilkumar Shinde for the post of Vice-President. The party has also floated the idea of “a woman candidate”, to get maximum possible support. India is yet to a have a woman VP. Senior leaders Mohsina Kidwai and Krishna Tirath are being spoken about as possible candidates.
The recent Assembly elections results have a significant bearing on the Rajya Sabha elections—the two biggest gainers in are the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal. The SP gains four seats from its earlier tally of six making it a total of 10, and TMC is getting 3 more, taking its tally to 9.
Under the present circumstances, there are only two possibilities wherein the Congress-led alliance can get its candidate elected Vice-President.
1. It gets on board the Left Front which has a cumulative strength of 39 in both Houses.
2. It manages support of either the SP or the Bahujan Samaj Party. Both the regional parties had given the Congress-led UPA Government anxious moments during the Lokpal debate in the previous session.