Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election exposes cracks in the Mahagathbandhan

election, opposition
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have delivered a fatal blow to the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election. The maneuvering by the three led to the defeat of the Congress MP and UPAs candidate B K Hariprasad by a margin of 24 votes. While NDA managed to secure 125 votes for its candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh from JDU. UPA had to face defeat after managing just 101 votes in their favor. While much of the credit for securing the seat of Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha goes to PM Modi, Amit Shah and Nitish Kumar, the Congress and its allies have themselves to blame for failing in this election too. There are many reasons for why the Congress failed to make its candidate win even when BJP and its allies lacked a clear majority.

First and foremost Congress and its allies failed to ensure that each of their leaders were present in the House on the day of the voting. According to the reports from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, three Congress MPs were not present in the house on the day of the voting. The Congress is the second largest party in the Rajya Sabha with 50 MPs and with three members not attending the number fell to 47. To add to the misery of the already frail opposition, three members of Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party too were not present in the house. Two members each from TMC, DMK ,PDP and one member from the Naga People’s Front were also absent adding to the woes of the opposition. Two members of the YSR Congress Party also abstained from voting in the elections.

Spokespersons of parties like AAP openly accused Congress of not asking for their support in the election process and this was the reason cited by them for the absence of their MPs from the house on the day of voting. The Congress had failed to carry out all the important task of reaching out to its allies and making sure that they do come out to vote in their favor. It had also failed to make any kind of approach towards parties like BJD and TRS which are non-aligned to both NDA and UPA currently.

BJP and Nitish Kumar specially capitalized on the lax attitude shown by the Congress leaders and reached out not just to the non-aligned parties but also to the independent MPs. NDA could have easily contended itself with crossing the victory mark but it wanted to ensure the biggest possible victory it could achieve. Securing 125 votes when NDA in total had somewhere around 90 MPs in total itself shows the hard work put in by PM Modi and Nitish Kumar. Non-aligned parties like BJD and TRS easily backed the NDA candidate because he is from JDU.

The absence of opposition MPs from the house, especially those from the Congress hints towards a possible dissent within the UPA and the Congress itself. While the absence of TMC and AAP MPs is a sign that the promises of a Mahagathbandhan are hollow and do not hold any meaning. The lack of a binding force which only a competent leader can provide is being felt by the Congressmen and the UPA. Each party seems to have a separate controller thereby debunking the chances of a nationwide alliance. Each party in the UPA has one leader who is hopeful of his candidature for the PM post, like Mulayam Singh and Mamata Banerjee from SP and TMC respectively. Under these circumstances a strong alliance is unlikely to thrive in the upcoming days and rifts are only going to be more apparent as the election season approaches.


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