Opposition parties want to contest the election to the post of the deputy chairman on August 21 while the Congress is keen to get its nominee P J Kurien get elected unopposed.
Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari has approved the poll schedule for the deputy chairman post on August 21 at 12:00 pm. The last date for filing nominations is on Friday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party having contested the president and vice president elections is not keen on a contest for the in-house poll of the Rajya Sabha. However, it is keen to support either the Telugu Desam Party or the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam nominee if they agreed to field a candidate.
The Congress needs 124 votes for a win, but its total strength is 70. It has the support of the Samajwadi Party (9), the Trinamool Congress (9), the Bahujan Samaj Party (15), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (7) and the Nationalist Congress Party (7). With the help of smaller parties, the Congress can increase its strength to around 140 to 145.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley is in touch with other Opposition parties, but the Communist Party of India-Marxist does not want to support a BJP- sponsored candidate.
The ruling Congress has a comfortable majority with support from the SP and the BSP. Kurien if fielded will easily win.