New Delhi : National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on Thursday defeating the Opposition’s nominee B.K. Hariprasad.
Harivansh, a veteran journalist representing Bihar as a member of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the Upper House, received 125 votes as against 105 of Hariprasad.
The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 244 but the members present in the House were 230.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and YSR Congress party abstained from voting.
Following his election, Harivansh was conducted to his seat, which is beside the Leader of Opposition, by Leader of House Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananath Kumar and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Harivansh on his win, saying: “I congratulate Harivanshji on being elected the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.”
Modi described Harivansh as a “well read” person who “has written a lot”.
“He has served the society for years,” the Prime Minister added.
“I also want to congratulate B.K. Hariprasad for being a part of the election.”
He said that there were two “Hari’s” in the race and hoped that with Harivansh victory, there will be “harikripa “(God’s blessings) in the House.
Jaitley, who attended the Rajya Sabha for the first time in the ongoing monsoon session, also congratulated Harivansh on his election, saying that he was confident that he would uphold the post’s integrity.
Rajya Sabha members cutting across party lines felicitated the new deputy chair.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said he hoped his experience in journalism would benefit the House in its conduct.
He expected that Harivansh will discharge his duties in a non-partisan manner and work for all sections of the society irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena and leaders of other parties also conveyed their congratulations.
On his part, Harivansh assured the members that he will conduct the proceedings of the House in a non-partisan manner.
“Now, I do not belong to any party,” he said seeking cooperation of the members in the smooth conduct of the House.
He said that it is a matter of pride for him to reach the corridors of power and pledged to work for the development of the nation.
After Harivansh ended his speech, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu invited him to conduct the House proceedings.
“The House stands adjourned to meet again at 2 p.m.,” Harivansh said in his first ruling.