Opposition parties decide to move forward with consensus for filling RS deputy chairman post

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New Delhi:

Opposition parties on Monday decided to move forward with consensus for filling the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman post and asked the Congress, the TMC and the Samajwadi Party to come out with a "suitable candidate" acceptable to all.

During a meeting in Parliament, opposition leaders decided they should unitedly move forward in fielding a joint candidate for the post that fell vacant after P J Kurien retired on July 1, but no names were discussed, sources said.

Those present at the meeting included leaders from the Congress, NCP, TMC, BSP, SP, RJD, DMK, CPI(M), CPI, JD(S), RSP, IUML and KC-M, among others.

The entire opposition agreed that there should be a consensus candidate and the same should have acceptance among all parties and not just from any one party, they said.

Leaders of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which are the largest opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha should sit together and find a "suitable candidate", the sources said.

TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy made it clear at the meeting that his party will not field any candidate for the post and will support any joint opposition candidate decided through consensus.

Roy's name was among the probable for the post.

The name of Akali leader Naresh Gujral is doing the rounds for the post from the ruling NDA side, though no decision has yet been taken on his name.

Though the post of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha goes to the opposition, the tradition has not been followed for some time now as both the previous deputy chairmen P J Kurien and K Rehman Khan were from the then ruling party at the time of their election.

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