Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Election: A Knife-edge Election

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Election: A Knife-edge Election

On Penultimate day of Monsoon Session i.e 9th of August, Election for the post of Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha will be held. The chance of a contest is high as opposition may not agree to the consensus candidate citing an example of Lok Sabha where the Speaker is from the Government but Deputy Chairman is from the opposition.

Since NDA already has Chairman Post in Rajya Sabha, getting Deputy Chairman Post will be a Plus. Like last time when Congress leader PJ Kurien was unanimously elected the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, NDA can try to build a consensus this time.

To win the election, more than 50% of votes are required and the magical number is 122. On seeing the Strength of Rajya Sabha, one can see that the election will be a very interesting one.

BJP, on its own, is having 73 MPs (which includes 8 nominated MPs) and enjoy the Single Largest Party status. As ruling party in not having enough numbers to send its nominee for the post, it will rely on alliance partners of NDA as well as few Regional Parties which can vote for NDA candidate as many did during Presidential Polls.

The vote of Nominated MPs and Independents will be very crucial in this time around. A brief look into the Nominated as well as Independent MPs also suggests this.

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The Details of Nominated MPs are as follows:

The Details of Independent MPs are as follows:

The Maths:

As on moment, the number situation is quite evenly poised between Treasury benches and the Opposition. Based on various Permutations and Combinations, the following trend looks convincing (though the final outcome could be totally opposite).

BJP may nominate any MP from its NDA alliance as it will help it to cement the NDA alliance before crucial 2019 Loksabha elections as well as will help to build confidence among partners. Congress can also support the candidate from like-minded parties so as to send a message across the political spectrum.

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BJP & few alliance partners like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, JD(U), BDF, NPF does not have combined strength to touch the magical number. Many Regional Parties like AIADMK can go with the NDA’s choice and the number can reach up to 112 & if 7 Independents/Nominated MPs (Amar Singh, Swapan Dasgupta etc) vote for NDA, the number hinges at 109.

On the other Hand, Opposition will be hugely dependent on the face of its candidate as the credible face can swing few votes in their favour. As on moment, Opposition Parties like INC, TMC, Left etc can touch around 109 with the help of few Independent MPs.

The others (fence sitters!) in the list include PDP and few south-eastern region Parties like TDP, YSR and their position is not clear yet. The bloc of these 5-6 Parties has the deciding votes with them. Many issues like Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, Regional Politics, Mahanadi Water issue can play a major role when it comes to voting.

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This time the election outcome will be very interesting to watch and will set the pace for future alliances of various parties which are being tried by various political parties at National as well as Regional levels.

(The numbers favouring a particular candidate, suggested by the author does not represent the actual position but are based on his opinion)

Neeraj is a political observer, he tweets at @Neeraj_2018

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