Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party, the largest partner of the National Democratic Alliance, is said to have offered the post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha to the YSR Congress Party. The move has raised eyebrows in the political circles and a debate has started on the issue. Not only the opposition, but the allies are eagerly watching the developments going on in this regard.
YSR Congress, which fought the TDP, Congress and the BJP to get a thumping majority in Andhra Pradesh elections, has suddenly became an important party for the NDA. Now the NDA needs Jagan Mohan Reddy in its camp to compensate the loss of confidence of Janata Dal United. BJP’s newfound bonhomie is seen as opportunism to strengthen the coalition.
The YSR Congress Party has won 151 out of the 175 seats in the Andhra Pradesh assembly and 22 out of the 25 parliamentary seats. It makes it a formidable government and the party has got a considerable say in national politics. In comparison to this, the JDU has 16 LOK Sabha seats. Nitish Kumar has openly said that his party will not be a part of Prime Minister Narendra Mod-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) outside the state of Bihar. The JD (U) will fight the forthcoming elections alone in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi. On the other hand, Shiv Sena has also staked claim to the post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. It has maintained that, being the biggest ally of the NDA, the Deputy Speaker post is its natural right.
All these efforts of the Bharatiya Janata Party seem to be aimed at getting a majority in the Upper House of the Parliament. The NDA may have won the elections with a good majority but it is still lacking the majority in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP alone could secure 83 seats in the upper house by next year - 10 more than it currently holds. The National Democratic Alliance could control 107 seats, seven more than its current tally and just 15 short of a majority in the 243 member Rajya Sabha. So, now the focus is on the regional parties that will help the BJP get the majority and have total say in passing many of the important and controversial bills that are pending or are in the agenda.
The selection of the Deputy Speaker will show the way the NDA is moving. Its efforts to gain confidence of smaller parties may be unsuccessful if YSR is not accepting the offer. But the BJP has other plans and other parties in radar which may get attention in the coming days.