NDA candidate and JD(U) member Harivansh Narayan Singh was on Thursday elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, defeating opposition’s B K Hariprasad.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu initiated the process at 11:22 am of the election by calling for division of votes in the House. The election for the post was held after 9 motions were moved for the election.
While Harivansh Narayan Singh secured 125 votes, Hariprasad got 105.
Newly elected Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh said it would be his endeavour to uphold the dignity of the Upper House and expressed hope that differences would be ironed out through constructive debates, consensus and guidance.
The journalist-turned-politician exuded confidence that all members will work together and tread on principles of Gandhi and Jai Prakash Naryan to ensure a smooth run of the House.
The JD(U) member said, “Treading on rules and procedures framed by our Constitution makers, we can lead the country to greatness…There would be differences in debates, there would be different opinions… We can find out a way.”I got this opportunity to be here…I am frightened, surrounded by so many experienced people but this is my strength too as you all will guide me and I assure you I will run the House in a fair and decent manner,” he said.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah, Leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others for getting him elected to the post, he said he had never envisioned that he will be at this post in Lutyen’s Delhi as he came from a village between two mighty rivers- Ganga and Ghagra where during floods people thought this was the last night or day of their life.
“I studied below a tree … from an ordinary primary school …My journey to Lutyen’s Delhi or elite’s Delhi was possible due to each one of you. The foundation of social awareness was laid … there was no road in the village to commute …We used to be confined to our homes during floods… People used to carry the sick on a charpoy for 15 km distances … We saw electricity many years later…We started our journey with earthen lamps,” he said.
He said after for 40 years of job including 37 years of journalism he was here and quoted Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. He said this country has different culture, traditions and under such circumstances the thinking has to be different as he quoted Dr Radhakrishnan, “We will try to do within our power to justify to the public of this country that a second chamber is essential to prevent hasty legislation.”
The entire House congratulated Harivansh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad felicitating him. The Chairman also congratulated Harivansh over his victory and said that this is a first for the House as a first time member was elected to the Deputy chairmans’ post.
The Prime Minister congratulated Harivansh on his election. Speaking on the occasion, Modi talked about achievements of Harivansh, a journalist for about four decades.
Hoping that Harivansh would do justice to all members of the House, Modi in a lighter vein said the situation in the House is such that the umpire faces more problems than players.
The post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman has been lying vacant since the retirement of P J Kurien on July 1.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who is recovering from a kidney ailment, attended the proceedings after a long gap.
The election for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman held on Thursday. The election had a direct contest between NDA’s Harivansh Narayan Singh and opposition nominee B K Hariprasad.
(With agency inputs)