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Congress waits for opposition’s pick for Rajya Sabha deputy chairman to decide stance

The discussions over a consensus candidate for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman show the dynamics of the creation of a united front to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2018 23:54 IST
Opposition,Rahul Gandhi,Congress
Congress president Rahul Gandhi (extreme right) with opposition leaders such as CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and DMK leader A Kanimozhi, during an Iftar party in New Delhi on June 13, 2018. (PTI)

The Congress, the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress continued to make the right noises about putting up a consensus candidate of the Opposition for the post of the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, but a decision hasn’t been taken yet and the ongoing discussions between various constituents of the federal-front-in-the-making show the dynamics that will have to be managed for the creation of a united front to take on the NDA.

According to leaders from the three parties familiar with the matter and who spoke on condition of anonymity, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday lobbied with her Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala counterparts to pick a candidate from the non-Congress bench for the post.

While AP’s N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party and Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (S) have more or less agreed to explore the possibilities, the CPI(M)’s Pinarayi Vijayan told Banerjee that his party will take the final decision, the leaders said.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Monday that the post “ideally” should go to the Congress as it is the largest Opposition force with no other party anywhere near it in terms of numbers in the Rajya Sabha.

It is also likely that the Janata Dal (Secular), which governs Karnataka in partnership with the Congress, will consult the latter.

The Congress itself seemed to suggest that it wouldn’t insist on.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 23:54 IST