Modi Vs Opposition, Focus Now Back To The Upper House


The new face-off comes in the wake of the ensuing Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election.

Written By Payal Mehta | Mumbai | Updated On:

Already with plans made public about 2019 Lok Sabha elections where it will be a contest of Narendra Modi versus all, opposition now plans to pull off another one against the ruling alliance NDA.

The new face-off comes in the wake of the ensuing Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election. PJ Kurien who holds this position is retiring by the end of the month.

With as many as 13 opposition parties clubbed together, the number is only going up with TDP, a former NDA ally now joining ranks with them. Thus the important question, who will be the candidate that they would field?

With BJP leadership making it clear that they will put up a competition, the task has already begun.

Two names in the fray are Trinamool Congress's Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Prasanna Acharya from the Biju Janata Dal.

While Sukhendu Sekhar Roy has been on the panel and often officiates during the absence of Chair and Deputy Chair, Prasanna Acharya is the leader of his party in the upper house. Sources in Congress have indicated that they won't put up a candidate, and would go with the popular choice of the like minded parties. It finally then boils down to being a choice between TMC and BJD..

WB CM Mamata Banerjee has been vocal to state that anything to keep BJP at bay would be the prime focus of the federal parties front.

'Keep egos aside no matter what and keep divisive forces away is our mantra. After the drubbing in recent by-polls we will keep the same formula going,' a top TMC source says.

Even though the BJD has kept their cards close to their chest, the growing support for their candidate is keeping the Odisha party thinking. Informal talks with several of these parties have already been happening. With a strength of 9 in RS BJD knows that numbers oif their own party aren't anything to go by.

The need being to field one candidate with acceptability and in whose name consensus is a near guarantee.

Odisha goes into polls next year alongside the general polls. BJD and BJP will be at loggerheads. Something that both parties know well. Its been a tough run for the NDA in the upper house of parliament so far with numbers stacked against them. That's where the opposition has choked them.

The house strength stands at 245, with 3 nominated members retiring and Sharad Yadav's expulsion, it now stands at 241. The mid way mark is at 122 votes. Strength of BJP is at 67 and 51 for Congress in the house of elders. TMC and AIADMK stand at 13 each. Both these parties are pretty unlikely to make the same choice.

TDP has made its choice clear agreeing to back the opposition candidate. But fence hitters including TRS and YSR congress will also be worth watching out for.

The opposition put up a great photo opp at the swearing in of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, where a small round of meeting between top leaders set the ball rolling for this challenge ahead.

'It's beyond photo opp and the game has just begun,' says a top TDP leader.

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