Harivansh may quit to escape Modi-Nitish crossfire

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Harivansh at the farewell of the outgoing Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu

Photo credit Twitter Vice President secretariat

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 11: Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh has been in the office for just about one year, as he’s thrown mid-air by his patron who were staunch friends but have now become enemies breathing down at the necks of each other.

Harivansh is not Somnath Chatterjee, who clung to the position of the Lok Sabha Speaker despite his principal political party, where he spent all his political career, exited the ruling alliance at the Centre.

For Chatterjee, luxuries of life had come after a drought throughout life, and nothing could have stopped him from the indulgence.

The veteran Marxist was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha during the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) during 2004-09.

Marxists such as Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat were the ‘moral guardians’ of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in its first term.

Political observers who have closely followed Harivansh believe that the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha doesn’t have that thick skin that was with Chatterjee.

“Harivansh is an intellectual, who still respects dignity in public life. He cannot bear the ordeals of being a football that will be kicked around by the BJP and the JD (U). One may expect that he will quit his post, since JD (U) is no more part of the ruling NDA,” said one of the political observers, who closely followed Harivansh for over a decade.

Harivansh was a banker in the early parts of his career. He subsequently had brief stints with the former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar.

Afterwards, Harivansh edited Prabhat Khabar, and journalists recall him being an editor of the readers.

But it was the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who revived the politician in him by sending the banker turned journalist to the Rajya Sabha.

On the launch of one of his books, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had heap praises on Harivansh for his achievements and contributions.

If Modi’s words are any yardsticks, then Harivansh has his admirer in both the BJP and the JD (U).

“Essentially, the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha runs the business of the House, and given that the Opposition is still alive there due to the numerical strength, it will be untenable for Harivansh to continue in his position. He will gracefully resign,” said another close observer of the JD (U) MP.


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