The BJP has reached out to the Opposition for a consensus on the name of NDA's nominee Harivansh for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman while working to secure the support of neutral parties like the Biju Janata Dal in the event of an election.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters today that BJP leaders, including himself, have contacted the Congress and other opposition parties saying they wanted a consensus to emerge on Harivansh' name.
Tomorrow is the last day for filing nomination for the post and BJP sources said they wanted cross-party support for the JD(U) leader and therefore refrained from making any formal announcement about his candidature.
Opposition parties have been holding deliberations to decide their candidate.
With the NDA nominee likely to get support of 13 AIADMK members and six of the TRS, the decision of the BJD, which has nine members, will be significant.
If the BJD backs the NDA candidate, his prospects will brighten in case of an election but if it abstains from voting, then his fate will become more uncertain.
What has added to the suspense over Harivansh' fate is the ambivalence of BJP allies like Akali Dal, which had yesterday indicated that it may abstain, and Shiv Sena, which has often been critical of the BJP.
BJP leaders said they have reached out to the two partners and expressed confidence they would get their support.
The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 244 and support of 123 members would be needed for a win in case of an election, if all members are present.
The BJP is the largest party in the House with 73 members, followed by the Congress with 50 members. The BJP's allies JD(U), Shiv Sena and Akali Dal have six, three and three members each respectively.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)