New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated JD(U)’s Harivansh, the joint ruling NDA candidate, on being elected as the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
“I congratulate Harivanshji on being elected the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha,” Modi said in the Upper House, describing the veteran journalist-turned-MP as a “well read” person who “has written a lot”.
Hoping that Harivansh would do justice to all members of the House, Modi in a lighter vein said the situation in the House is such that the umpire faces more problems than players. Modi also joked that the MPs were “hari bharose” now.
Modi said Harivansh was offered a job by the Reserve Bank of India but he did not take it. He said while the outcome of the election was known, yet there was a contest as per procedures and the new members got training on how to vote in the House.
“I also want to congratulate BK Hariprasad (opposition candidate) for being a part of the election,” Modi said.
Janata Dal-United member Narayan Singh defeated Hariprasad of the Congress by 20 votes in the election for the post.
Leader of House Arun Jaitley, who attended the Rajya Sabha for the first time in the ongoing Monsoon Session after undergoing kidney transplant, also congratulated Harivansh on his election.
Jaitley said he was confident that he would uphold the integrity of the post.
Rajya Sabha members cutting across party lines felicitated the new deputy chair.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad while congratulating the new deputy chair said he hoped his experience in journalism would benefit the House in its conduct.
The post of the deputy chairman was lying vacant since the retirement of PJ Kurien on July 1. The nomination of Harivansh was proposed by Ram Prasad Singh and BJP President Amit Shah among others. Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and senior Congress leader Azad accompanied Harivansh to the seat designated for the Deputy Chairman in the House, which is next to that of the Leader of Opposition.