Congress lawmaker BK Hariprasad will be the opposition's candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson, sources said today.
Several opposition parties, who have joined hands against the BJP, decided to field a joint candidate to take on the NDA nominee, Harivansh Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal (United), for the August 9 election.
Today is the last date for filing of nominations.
BK Hariprasad, 64, is a Congress member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.
The Congress decided to field its nominee as the joint opposition candidate after the other parties in the opposition bloc chose not to nominate their members.
Reacting to the news, Mr Hariprasad told news agency ANI, "The party (Congress) must have taken this decision after a lot of thinking. We will talk to all the opposition leaders and discuss what is to be done."
Opposition parties that were uneasy with a Congress candidate for Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson election, have decided to end their differences and back the candidate, sources said, putting the anti-BJP front back on track.
The Congress decided to field a candidate last evening after Sharad Pawar's party, which had agreed to field Vandana Chavan, backed out after Naveen Patnaik indicated that his party would not support her candidature. The NCP said it needed the backing from both Shiv Sena and the BJD.
The government is counting on support from the AIADMK, K Chandrashekar Rao's TRS and Naveen Patnaik, which will give it 123 votes. To win in the 245-member house, a candidate needs 123 votes, but abstention will bring down the majority mark.
BJP-ally Akali Dal too confirmed today that they will be supporting the government's candidate for the election tomorrow.
The opposition has 117 seats -- including Chandrababu Naidu's TDP. Arvind Kejriwal's AAP and Mehbooba Mufti's PDP, which between them have five seats, have indicated that they will support the opposition candidate. Support is also expected from the DMK, which has 4 seats. Altogether it gives the opposition 126 seats. The figure will increase by 2 more if the YSR Congress, which has refused to support the BJP, votes for it.
(With inputs from PTI)
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