The BJP-led coalition’s nominee Harivansh was elected Deputy Chairman of the house by 125 to 101 votes defeating the opposition’s nominee was BK Hariprasad of the Congress
“With Harivansh ji in the Rajya Sabha, ab sab Hari bharose, Hari Kripa(Everything is up to god, god’s mercy),” Prime Minister Narendra Modi quipped
“Today we mark the anniversary of the Quit India Movement. Harivansh ji hails from Ballia, a land linked with freedom fighters. He has been inspired by Loknayak JP,” PM Modi said.
In glowing praise for Harivansh, a first time Rajya Sabha member from the Janata Dal United of Nitish Kumar, PM Modi said: “Harivansh ji is well read and has written a lot. He has served society for years.”
Harivansh, 62, is former editor-in-chief of the “Prabhat Khabar” newspaper based in Jharkhand’s Ranchi. He is described as a member who has friends across the political spectrum. He was associated with Jai Prakash Narayan or “JP”, the renowned socialist who united opposition parties against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency rule.
The Prime Minister’s phone call to Naveen Patnaik, the leader of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is among the factors that helped the government swing the vote in its favour. Congress however failed to muster all opposition in one umbrella that left YSR Congress, the DMK and a Trinamool Congress lawmakers made abstain.