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December 2018
5:40 PM IST
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National News
Harivansh elected Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, members say he must protect opposition interests
 
Moments after the result of a keenly fought election to the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s post was announced, political leaders cut across party lines to lavish praise on the victor Harivansh in a rare display of bonhomie on Thursday.

The Janata Dal (United) MP and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee defeated the Congress’s B K Hariprasad, the joint opposition candidate. Harivansh won 125 votes and Hariprasad 105.

Congratulating Harivansh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi jokingly said, “Ab sab kuch Hari bharose hain (now, everything is dependent on Hari).” It was a pun on the first part of his name, which is one of the appellations for the Hindu God Vishnu.

As the House broke into laughter, Modi added, “And I am confident that every member, be on this side (treasury) or that side (opposition) will have his mercy.”

Earlier, as Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu announced the result, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, his junior Vijay Goel and Union minister Arun Jaitley, who attended the House for the first time after a kidney transplant surgery in May, went up to Harivansh’s seat to congratulate him.

The three leaders then walked him to his new seat, in the front row next to the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. Opposition members including former PM Manmohan Singh also congratulated him as he passed by their seats. Singh also stopped Jaitley to inquire about his health.

After Harivansh took his seat, the Prime Minister walked up to his seat to wish him.

Congratulating him on behalf of the House, Modi recounted how Harivansh was a favourite of late former PM Chandrashekhar. There was a reason behind it, he said. “He was a journalist and was associated with a newspaper. But despite knowing about Chandrashekhar’s impending resignation in March 1991, he did not let his newspaper know. He maintained the dignity of the (PM’s) office”.

Modi said that it was also a matter of happiness for all members that Jaitley was back in the House after regaining his health. The PM said that it was a special day as it happened to be the Quit India movement’s anniversary and Harivansh was from Ballia, a place associated with the freedom struggle.

Modi also recounted Harivansh’s association with socialist icon Jai Prakash Narayan, who was from the same village where he was born.

“As a parliamentarian you had a successful tenure. But inside the House, more often, it is the umpires who are more concerned than the players. It’s a challenge to force members to play within the rules of the game. I am hopeful that Harivansh will do it successfully,” Modi said.

Leader of the House Jaitley said he is hopeful that Harivansh would help further improve the quality of discourse in the House. “In the House he has never made personal attacks on anyone… I am hopeful that he will enhance the dignity of the House and maintain a balance between government business and the opposition raising issues of public importance”.

Azad said that a Rajya Sabha deputy chairman does not represent any party. “I request him to look at the left and left of centre,” he said.

Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’ Brien said that though Harivansh was sitting on the right, he was hopeful that as deputy chairman he will look at “all of us.”

Welcoming him, Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said Harivansh had a calm demeanour, which would help him in discharging his new responsibility as deputy chairman. “If some of you find me getting emotional at times about the functioning of the House, I can assure you that Harivansh is calm, cool and smiling all the time.”

After the leaders finished felicitating him, Harivansh got up to address the members. “Surrounded by so many experienced people, I am frightened today. But then this also gives me strength as I know you will guide me. I assure you that I will run the House in a fair and decent manner.”

Naidu invited Harivansh to preside over the Rajya Sabha proceedings after his speech was over. Amid the thumping of desks by members, he took over from Naidu. It was 1pm by then and his first order after taking charge was to adjourn the House till 2pm.


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Clear message to Modi that People are unhappy and it is time for change: Rahul on poll results
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More than 225 terrorists killed in J&K so far this year: Army
Glad key people shedding fear, breaking silence on govt decisions: Chidambaram
Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as Chief Economic Advisor for 3 years
TN Governor meets Modi, discusses issues of state
Christian Michel sent to 5-day CBI custody by court in VVIP chopper case
Mamata asks people to uphold the secular fabric of the country
Bulandshahr violence: UP CM meets slain inspector's family
Kashmir Valley records sub-zero temp on Tuesday night
Telangana set for change: Rahul Gandhi
PM latching on to Michel for 'smear campaign' against opposition leaders: Cong
Under PM Modi-Yogi Adityanath, Police, Common Man In Terror: Rahul Gandhi
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN
 Rimbo (Sweden), Dec 13 (AFP) UN chief Antonio Guterres announced Thursday a series of breakthroughs
Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU
Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'
May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
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