CMs’ quartet works to show Congress its place

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CMs’ quartet works to show Congress its place

Discusses strategy to snatch away Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman’s post from the largest Opposition party in the coming poll

Outmanoeuvring the Congress in more ways than one, the quartet of Chief Ministers, apart from reaching out to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday night, discussed the strategy for the upcoming election of the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, concluding that the Opposition nominee will not be from the Congress.

After having gone through all permutations and combinations, the quartet appeared to be in favour of the Biju Janata Dal, a fence sitter. If the Opposition backs a BJD member, then the battle tilts in its favour.

 No concession

The Congress now has 51 members in the Rajya Sabha. It is the second largest party in the House after the BJP (69), but clearly the regional parties are in no mood to offer it any concession

It was no coincidence that Telugu Desam Party MPs at Andhra Bhavan, where the quartet met, were already ready with printouts of Opposition and ruling party numbers. According to sources, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had spoken on phone earlier and planned to discuss the figures when they meet. Going by the figures, the Opposition has a slight edge with 115 members and the ruling dispensation has only 108. The key however is with the undecided 17 —Telangana Rashtra Samithi (six), YSR Congress Party (two) and Biju Janata Dal (nine).

 ‘Comfortable with BJD’

“Both the TRS and YSR Congress Party have been hobnobbing openly with the BJP. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao did not even attend the swearing-in ceremony of H.D. Kumaraswamy. Out of these three, we feel most comfortable to back the BJD,” a TDP MP said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)

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