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Boost for NDA, JD(U)'s Harivansh elected Dy Chairman of RS, comfortably beats oppn Cong nominee

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The ruling NDA today comfortably bagged the post of deputy of the with journalist-turned of the JD(U) beating Congress' B K in an election that was seen as a test for the opposition unity ahead of 2019 polls.

In a boost to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance(NDA), its candidate Harivansh, the 62-year-old first-time from the Nitish Kumar-led party, got 125 votes as against 101 polled by Hariprasad, who was the opposition nominee.

Hariprasad's vote count was revised downwards to 101 from the earlier 105 by the secretariat after tallying the final figures.

A total of 228 members out of an effective strength of 244 voted thereby reducing the majority mark to 115, according to the final official figures.

Though the BJP-led NDA was present in the in full strength with 97 MPs it needed the backing of other parties to clinch the deputy chairmanship. The alliance got the support of fence sitters BJD(9) and TRS(6). The AIADMK with 13 members also voted for the NDA.

The NDA also benefitted from the absence of some opposition members.

As many as 16 members were not present during voting, according to official figures.

Three members each of the Congress, the and the besides two each from the TMC, DMK and PDP and one from the Naga People's Front(NPF) were the absentee members.

Two members of the YSRCP abstained from the voting.

The post of the deputy is lying vacant since the retirement of P J Kurien of the on July 1.

The entire congratulated with in a lighter vein, saying "ab sub kuch 'Hari Bharose'. Aur mujhe vishwas hai ke sabhi, idhar ho ya udhar, sabhi sansadon per bani rahegi (everything is now in the hands of Hari or God. And I am confident that every member, whether on this side or that side, will have his mercy)."

of the House and of Opposition also led the felicitations. Jaitley, who is recuperating after a renal transplant, attended the house after a long gap.

said it would be his endeavour to uphold the dignity of the and expressed the hope that differences would be ironed out through constructive debates, consensus and guidance.

He exuded confidence that all members will work together and imbibe the principles of and to ensure a smooth run of the House. He hails from the same village in Ballia-Saran region in Uttar Pradesh-border where Jai Prakash Narayan, a socialist and anti-Emergency crusader, was born.

"Treading on rules and procedures framed by our Constitution makers, we can lead the country to greatness...There would be differences in debates, there would be different opinions... We can find out a way.

"I got this opportunity to be here...I am frightened, surrounded by so many experienced people but this is my strength too as you all will guide me and I assure you I will run the House in a fair and decent manner," said Harivansh, who is known to keep a low profile and is considered close to Chief Minister and JD(U)

M Venkaiah Naidu initiated the process of the election by calling for division of votes in the House.

The nomination of Harivansh was proposed by Ram Prasad Singh(JD-U) and seconded by and RPI member Ramdas Athawale. BJP Amit Shah, Shiv Sena's Ranjay Raut and Akali Dal's Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa were also among the proposers.

The voting had to be carried out for the second time as some members pointed out mistakes in the first polling. Result displayed for the first voting was "122 ayes, 98 noes, 2 abstain. Total: 222.

"We may have lost the battle but we will win the war," told reporters, exuding confidence that the UPA will win the next polls.

Soon after the election result was announced by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Jaitley, Azad and accompanied Harivansh to the seat designated for the in the House, which is next to that of the Leader of Opposition.

In his speech, Modi also spoke of the achievements of Harivansh, a for about four decades.

Hoping that Harivansh would do justice to all members of the House, Modi in a lighter vein said the situation in the House is such that the umpire faces more problems than the players.

Azad hoped the new would give enough opportunity to the opposition members to raise their issues.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 22:05 IST