JDU’s Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the new deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha on August 9, 2018. The NDA candidate was pitted against BK Hari Prasad, the joint candidate of the Congress-led Opposition in the voice vote. Singh won the vote with 125 votes in favour and 105 against.
The post of the deputy chairman was lying vacant since June 2018 following the retirement of PJ Kurien, a Congress MP from Kerala.
• The NDA candidate, Harivansh Narayan Singh received support from Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, AIADMK, TRS, YSRCP, INLD, BJD, three nominated candidates and SP MP, Amar Singh.
• While the opposition candidate – three-time MP BK Hari Prasad- received support from parties including Congress, TMC, DMK, Left parties, SP, BSP, NCP, TDP.
• Both the candidates had filed their notices of motion for the post on the last day, on August 8.
• Before the vote began, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen declared that his party's nine MPs would vote in favour of the NDA candidate.
• Among others, two members of PDP, three members of APP, two MPs of YSR Congress abstained from voting.
• Besides, DMK’s Kanimozhi who recently lost her father- DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and one Congress leader could not make it for the vote.
• The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 244 and support of 123 members is needed for a win in the full House.
• However, in a blow to Congress, YSRCP, PDP and AAP decided to abstain from voting for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman elections.
About Harivansh Narayan Singh
• The first-time MP, Singh is a veteran journalist representing Bihar.
• Born on June 30, 1956 in Uttar Pradesh Balia in a middle class family, he is a post-graduate in Economics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
• Singh also has PG Diploma in journalism from BHU. During his college days, Harivansh was influenced by the socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan (JP). He participated actively in the JP Movement of 1974.
• Following this, in 1977 Singh joined a renowned media group – The Times of India as a trainee journalist. Later, he moved to Mumbai to work in 'Dharmyug' magazine till 1981.
• Following his stint with the magazine, Singh worked with Bank of India and then joined Amrit Bazar Patrika's magazine 'Ravivar' as an assistant editor.
• He worked there till 1989 after which he was handed over the responsibility of Usha Martin group's struggling newspaper - Prabhat Khabar - in Ranchi.
• Singh not only helped revive Prabhat Khabar but he also launched new editions of the Hindi daily in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
• After serving as editor in the newspaper for over 25 years, Singh was nominated for Rajya Sabha in 2014 by the Nitish Kumar's JDU.
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