Opposition likely to raise issue of RS Deputy Chairman’ election

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New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Opposition parties on Monday indicated that they would raise the issue of the election of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman during the Monsoon Session of Parliament amid indications that the government may not hold the election during the session beginning Wednesday.

Sources said the leaders of like-minded opposition parties, who met here to discuss the strategy for the monsoon session, also touched on the issue of election of new Deputy Chairman following retirement of P. J. Kurien from the post earlier this month.

The sources said that the opposition parties would insist on the government to start the process of the election.

They said that opposition leaders felt that the election to fill the post should be held as soon as possible and did not agree with the contention that the election should be deferred citing some past precedents.

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The sources said that the like-minded opposition parties will have a “collective approach” on the issue. However, no names were discussed at the meeting as the possible candidate of joint opposition.

Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekar Roy later said that the party was not in the fray for the post of Deputy Chairman.

There have been indications that the government may not hold the election in the monsoon session while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to make its stance clear.

The Constitution does not specify a time frame for the election and there have been precedents of a new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman being chosen a few months after the incumbent retired.

The Opposition appears to have an edge in an election but much would depend on the stance of parties such as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.

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