Hari & Naidu
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Aided by some deft handling by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh 
Aided by some deft handling by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh 
of Janata Dal (United) won the Rajya Sabha's deputy chairman's post rather easily on Thursday, defeating his rival Opposition nominee BK Hariprasad by 125:105 votes.
 
Though initially the odds looked in favour of the Opposition, the game changed when NCP chief Sharad Pawar after speaking to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Navin Patnaik withdrew Vandana Shiva's name. Sources said, Patnaik told him that he has already been approached by the NDA and he has promised support to the JD(U) candidate.
 
Despite Opposition trying to put up a spirited fight, the result was a foregone conclusion.
 
The intelligent choice of Harivansh, a first-time MP, gave the BJP the scope to maneuver and muster support not even from Shiv Sena and Akali Dal but also from fence-sitters like the BJD and TRS. The two parties together have voting strength of 15 MPs.
 
However, it also highlighted that choice of its own candidate for the deputy chairman would have put the BJP in a difficult situation and the victory may have eluded it.
 
Perhaps owing to Harivansh's non-controversial background, the tense atmosphere prevailing in the Rajya Sabha became light and gentle after Chairman Venkaiah Naidu announced his victory. The first one to congratulate Harivansh was his rival candidate Hariprasad who came over to his seat to shake hands.
 
A journalist for more than 40 years, Harivansh after getting elected received laudatory comments from both the Opposition and the treasury benches. Prime Minister Modi crossed over the well to congratulate Harivansh who got the customary seat next to the leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
 
PM Modi was full of praise for Harivansh as he virtually read out his bio-data lauding his skills as a journalist for breaking the story of Dasrath Manjhi.
 
Despite being very close to former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Harivanshji kept the dignity of the PM's office as he did not reveal the PM was going to tender resignation despite knowing it much in advance,"said Modi.
 
Praising Harivansh for being a disciplined parliamentarian, Azad in a light vein asked him use his acumen as a journalist and be more considerate towards the Opposition that needs more nourishment. Azad said he hoped Harivansh would use his skills as a media person to see that the debates and work of Rajya Sabha gets more coverage.
 
Leader of the House, Arun Jaitley, who had come especially to vote despite him recuperating after long illness, said, "I hope you will help raise the level of debate and public discourse of which you yourself are an example."
 
Exuding confidence in his new role, Harivansh said he is faced with a Yaksha Prashna (complex question) ever since he became an MP that when we follow Western model of democracy why can't we show the same discipline and dignity.
 
Incidentally, Harivansh's first assignment as deputy chairman lasted barely for a minute as after being called by Naidu to take the chair, he said the House is adjourned to meet at 2 pm again, breaking the House into laughter.