12 oppn parties to support RJD’s Manoj in RS dy chairman election

NEW DELHI, SEP 10 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/10/2020 1:12:25 PM IST

Twelve opposition parties have confirmed their support for the candidature of Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s election, to be held on 14 September, ThePrint has learnt.

The parties are the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Shiv Sena, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Kerala Congress (M), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Indian Union Muslim League.

A senior Congress leader, who asked not to be named, told ThePrint that senior leaders from their party, the SP and DMK were also in talks with other opposition parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party to garner support for Jha.

“We are reaching out to all opposition parties,” the Congress leader said.

The opposition, led by the Congress, had zeroed in on Jha as the joint candidate to ensure the election for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman doesn’t go uncontested. In a telephonic interview with ThePrint, Jha said, “I will be filing my nomination tomorrow.”

The RJD MP was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2018.The post of deputy chairman fell vacant after the term of Harivansh Singh, a Janata Dal (United) member, ended in April. The JD(U) leader has been nominated the NDA candidate for the upcoming election.

Jha’s name, sources said, was mooted by both Congress and SP leaders, with an eye on the Bihar elections scheduled to take place this year. Jha said the Congress had been in touch with the RJD’s senior leadership, which decided on his name. However, despite the support, Jha will not be able to defeat NDA’s candidate unless he garners 123 votes in the 245-member strong Upper House.

Together, the Congress and the other like-minded opposition parties mentioned have 91 members. If the BSP and AAP also lend support, this tally will go up to 95, still a good 28 votes short from the winning mark.

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