New Delhi, August 8; The Congress has announced BK Hariprasad as its candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson elections. The polls for the Rajya Sabha are on August 9, just a day before the monsoon session of the parliament ends. Until now, Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Vandana Chavan was being considered as opposition's choice for the post. According to reports, Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) Satish Mishra and Trinamool Congress' Derek o Brien proposed Chavan's name. However, The NCP on Tuesday has decided against fielding a candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman.
Pallath Joseph Kurien retired as the deputy speaker of the upper house on June 30, since then the post is vacant. Meanwhile, Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh Narayan Singh is likely to be the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate for the post. Earlier Rajya Sabha Chairperson and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu had also urged the parties to elect the deputy speaker by consensus. The nomination papers will have to be filed before noon on August 8.
In Rajya Sabha NDA has 89 members, out of which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alone has 73 members. While the United Progressive (UPA) has the strength of 57 members, in which 50 members belong to the Congress. Telugu Desam Party, which recently had broken alliance with the NDA, has six members in the upper house. The anti-BJP parties which include BSP, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have four members each, while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and CPM have three and five members respectively, while Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress have the strength of 13 members each.