Nationalist Congress Party’s Vandana Chavan is likely to be the Opposition candidate in the election for the post of Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha but a final decision would be made after another round of meeting of the parties on Tuesday evening.
After a second round of meeting on Tuesday, the Opposition concluded that Chavan would be able to get the support of all opposition parties and even a few of the National Democratic Alliance allies.
“Though we would again meet but it’s almost finalised that Chavan of NCP would be the Opposition candidate,” a senior opposition party leader said.
Most opposition parties raised no objection on Chavan’s name during the meeting but they have left room for any possible last-minute change.
Chavan, whose name was proposed by Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra and seconded by Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien, received every opposition party’s support, including the Congress.
Congress, the largest opposition party with 50 seats in the upper house, feels its candidate may face strong resistance from some parties such as the Telugu Desam Party, which has decided to side with the Opposition camp on this matter.
Congress has said they are not putting up any candidate for this election and have expressed support for a consensus candidate from within the opposition camp.
According to senior opposition leaders, they felt during the meeting that an NCP candidate from Maharashtra will be able to get the support of Shiv Sena, an NDA ally.
Opposition parties are also in touch with Biju Janata Dal, which has not opened its cards yet.
But it appears that the ruling party in Odisha is in no mood to be seen siding with any camp. “Because of assembly elections in Odisha next year, BJD may abstain or be absent during voting,” the senior opposition leader said.
The Opposition camp believes the NCP would try to convince another NDA ally -- the Shiromani Akali Dal -- to vote for Chavan.
“SAD is not very pleased with NDA. They have good relations with NCP. If they vote for Chavan, it will certainly not be very easy for NDA,” the leader said.
At present, both the camps are trying hard to get the numbers required to get their candidates elected to the post.