A peek into future: Rajya Sabha deputy chairman

A peek into future: Rajya Sabha deputy chairman
Highlights

The election of JDU member Harivansh Narayan Singh, who was NDAs candidate for the position of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, is significant in more than one way It has helped in dissolving the mist over which party is on which side

Hyderabad: The election of JD(U) member Harivansh Narayan Singh, who was NDA’s candidate for the position of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, is significant in more than one way. It has helped in dissolving the mist over which party is on which side.

The election had also proved that the parties act differently from their public posturing when the moment of truth arrives.

Take for instance, the YSRC. Till last minute, they could not come to any decision. A day ahead of the election, Rajya Sabha member V Vijayasai Reddy said they would vote against the NDA’ candidate. But finally, the two Rajya Sabha members abstained, contributing their mite to help the NDA candidate win the election.

If the YSRC claims that it is always daggers drawn with the BJP are true, it would have taken a definite stand – voting against the NDA candidate which would have helped the prospects of the Congress nominee.

If one buy’s the argument of the TDP that Jagan Mohan Reddy and BJP work in league, then YSRC’s decision to keep away from the election is not difficult to understand. It is apparently on account of the fact that it was the best option available to two Rajya Sabha members in the present circumstances. They cannot straight away vote for NDA candidate with the TDP breathing down on its neck for catching it on the wrong foot.

Though YSRC had supported the NDA candidate for presidential and vice-presidential elections, this time it could not because elections then are not as close as they are now. This apart the TDP leaders are biding their time for the opportune moment to take the YSRC to task if it makes the faux pas of voting for the NDA candidate as the YSRC’s public posturing is that the BJP should take the blame for not delivering Special Category Status for AP.

Similarly, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which has six members in the Lower House. Till late Wednesday night, Chief Minister N Chandrasekhar Rao kept his cards very close to his chest, fueling speculation that TRS members might abstain from voting, in the wake of the allegations that it was always pally with the BJP regardless of its public posturing that it was anti-Congress and anti-BJP in nature. Chandrasekhar Rao had even tried to cobble up an alliance of anti-BJP and anti-Congress parties but the exercise has lost a lot of steam of late.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called Chandrasekhar Rao late Wednesday night and sought his Rajya Sabha members’ support for the election of JD (U) member as the deputy chairman. After the election on Thursday, Nitish Kumar again called Rao and thanked him for the support. The TRS sources, however, said the support to the NDA candidate should be seen as its opposition to the Congress and to its bid to come back to power at the Centre.

For one thing, TRS’s support to NDA candidate lent credence to the Opposition allegation that both Chandrasekhar Rao and Prime Minister Narendra Modi work in close concert. The Congress has been targeting the TRS that though it was outwardly anti-BJP, its innards are always saffron in colour. They always cite the instances of the TRS supporting the NDA candidate in presidential and vice-presidential elections to prove the point that both TRS and the BJP are on the same page.

Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party, which has been at war with the BJP, supported the Opposition nominee – Congress member BK Hariprasad – by voting for him, lifting the cloud of doubt that the TDP may not support the Congress since the party is basically anti-Congress. But, according to analysts, the anti-Congress character of the TDP had changed inchmeal over the years and now it is ready to join hands with it at the national level to fight the BJP.

What is helping the TDP is the fact that the Congress is not its rival in Andhra Pradesh as it does not exist in the first place after the party suffered a molecular disintegration for dividing the state much against sentiments of the people. In fact, Chandrababu Naidu did not feel any qualms in shaking hands with Rahul Gandhi at the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy Gowda as Karnataka Chief Minister and did not appear uncomfortable in the company of Congress matriarch Sonia Gandhi.

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