August 6, 2018
New Delhi: Opposition parties will meet here on Monday evening to discuss the name of a joint opposition candidate for election to the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman’s post on August 9.
Sources said the opposition parties are expected to short list candidates at the meeting, which will be held in the chamber of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
They would then get back to their leaders about the outcome of the meeting.
Another meeting is expected to take place on Tuesday to decide the candidate.
The election is likely to be a tight affair even as the opposition bloc has an edge over the BJP-led NDA in terms of numbers. The outcome will depend on the stance of parties such as BJD, AIADMK, Telangana Rashtra Samiti and YSRCP–which could ally with the government in certain situations.
Opposition sources said that there were 35 “fence sitters” and the outcome will depend on their stance.
The two large parties in the upper house — BJP and Congress — are unlikely to put up a candidate.
The parties which would support an opposition nominee include the Congress (50), TMC (14), SP (13), TDP (6), CPI-M (5), CPI (2), DMK (4), NCP (4), AAP (3), BSP (4), RJD (5), PDP (2), JD-S (1), Nominated (1), Kerala Congress-Mani (1) and IUML (1).
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu had on Monday announced that the new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman will be elected on August 9.
The post of the Deputy Chairman fell vacant after P.J. Kurien retired in July.
The election will be held a day before the conclusion of the monsoon session of Parliament.