Sonia for joint Opp candidate for RS Deputy Chairman post
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday called for reaching out to other like-minded Opposition parties to put up a joint candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman for the elections scheduled for September 14.
The post fell vacant after the tenure of JD (U) MP Harivansh expired in April this year. He has been re-elected to the House from Bihar and is expected to be the NDA’s candidate for the post, while the name of DMK MP Tiruchi Siva has been doing rounds as the Opposition candidate. The election will be held on the first day of the Monsoon Session starting September 14. The Budget Session was called off in March due to Covid-19.
Harivansh was elected as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson after Congress MP PJ Kurien’s tenure ended in August 2018. Harivansh had defeated senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad, who was the joint Opposition candidate, by bagging 125 votes against 105 by latter.
The Congress discussed the issue of election at a meeting of the party’s Parliament Strategy Group chaired by Sonia. She has asked Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad to reach out to other Opposition parties for fielding a joint Opposition candidate. The last date for filing nomination for the post is September 11.
The name of the joint candidate will be decided after consultations with the Opposition parties, and a meeting is also scheduled mid-week.
The meeting was attended by Rahul Gandhi, Azad, Anand Sharma, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Mallikarjun Kharge, party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, party’s chief whip in upper house K Suresh, Manish Tewari, Gaurav Gogoi, Manickam Tagore, and Ravneet Singh Bittu.
The post of Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha too has been lying vacant since May last year when the Lok Sabha was reconstituted post-elections.
In the Monsoon Session strategy meeting, the grand old party has firmed up its opinion to oppose on a number of ordinances issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced corona pandemic lockdown.
The ordinances the Congress will oppose include the one on PM Cares fund, but the party will support the overall taxation ordinance, sources said. Pay cuts for MPs will be supported, but the executive decision of stopping the MPLAD funds for two years will be opposed since it stops the ongoing works.
Sources said the party will also oppose the “one nation one market for farmers” as it feels that the farmers will be short-changed when they sell their produce. The closure of mandis will leave many jobless, especially the poor who work as porters, weigh men and others. Such a law will also infringe on the States’ rights, the party contends.
Wednesday, 09 September 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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