Opposition parties to put up a joint candidate for RS deputy chairperson’s election | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Opposition parties to put up a joint candidate for RS deputy chairperson’s election

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Sep 08, 2020 02:34 PM IST

The RS deputy chairperson’s post has been lying vacant after Janata Dal’s (United) member Harivansh’s tenure had ended in April. However, Harivansh’s got re-elected to the Upper House from Bihar soon after his tenure had ended

The opposition parties will put up a joint candidate for the post of the Rajya Sabha (RS) deputy chairperson, people familiar with the developments said.

The RS deputy chairperson’s post has been lying vacant after Janata Dal’s (United) member Harivansh’s tenure had ended in April.(Arvind Yadav/HT photo)
The RS deputy chairperson’s post has been lying vacant after Janata Dal’s (United) member Harivansh’s tenure had ended in April.(Arvind Yadav/HT photo)

This was decided at a meeting of the Congress’s parliament strategy group on Tuesday, a party leader said.

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Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi presided over the meeting, where it was decided to corner the government over the issue of border standoff with China during the upcoming 18-day monsoon session of Parliament that starts from September 14.

Also read: Only paper ballots for voting in Parliament’s monsoon session

The RS deputy chairperson’s post has been lying vacant after Janata Dal’s (United) member Harivansh’s tenure had ended in April.

However, Harivansh’s got re-elected to the Upper House from Bihar soon after his tenure had ended. He is expected to be the ruling National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate again.

Harivansh was elected as the RS deputy chairperson after Congress’s PJ Kurien’s tenure had ended in August, 2018.

Harivansh had defeated Congress’s BK Hariprasad, as he had bagged 125 votes to the latter’s 105.

The election to the RS deputy chairperson’s post is slated to be held on September 14 and the last date for the filing of nomination papers is on September 11.

The post of the deputy speaker in the lower house is also lying vacant since the 17th Lok Sabha was constituted in May last year.

Meanwhile, the meeting also listed other key issues to be taken up during the upcoming monsoon session.

Besides the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Congress and other opposition parties are going to raise a raft of issues such as nation-wide lockdown restrictions, its resultant economic impact, restoration of Question Hour, Facebook’s alleged nexus with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the massive decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of the current financial years, non-payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation to states, job losses and agrarian distress.

They will also seek a discussion on the PM-CARES Fund.

The meeting was attended by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his deputy Anand Sharma, party leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, his deputy Gaurav Gogoi, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, Manish Tewari, K Suresh, Manickam Tagore and Ravneet Singh Bittu.

This was the first time that three of the 23 signatories -- Azad, Sharma and Tewari -- to a letter to the party president seeking complete overhaul of the organisation came face-to-face with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi after the stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on August 24.

Four out of the 23 signatories who are CWC members – Azad, Sharma, Mukul Wasnik and Jitin Prasada – had come under intense fire from other colleagues at the meeting for writing the letter.

After chairing the meeting, Sonia Gandhi is likely to leave for abroad for a routine health check-up and will not be able to attend the full monsoon session of Parliament.

The meeting also decided to firm up a joint strategy with other like-minded opposition parties.

Some key opposition leaders such as Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren have stated that they would work closely to take on the government in Parliament.

The leaders expressed their views at a recent meeting of non-NDA CMs called by Sonia Gandhi on holding Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) amid the pandemic and non-payment of GST compensation to states.

A meeting of opposition parties is expected to be held later this week.

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