Faster than a computer! RS dy chairman Harivansh calculated majority in favour of bills in less than a minute

A video being circulated on social media shows Harivansh conducting the vote, amid all the ruckus and din in the Rajya Sabha, without even looking at the protesting members

Photo courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV
Photo courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV


How the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha calculated in less than one minute that the farm bills had a majority in the Upper House, and the way he conducted the proceedings of the House disappointed many people and raised questions about the nonpartisan character of the Chair.

When the BJP-led govt tabled the bills, Opposition parties demanded that they should be sent to a select committee. However, the government went on to conduct a voice vote.

A video being circulated on social media shows Harivansh conducting the vote, amid all the ruckus and din in the Rajya Sabha, without even looking at the protesting members. In the video, he can be seen asking for ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’. And within the next few seconds, he can be heard claiming that he heard the ‘ayes’ and in the next line, he can be heard pronouncing that the bill had been passed. All this happened in less than one minute.

Expressing shock, while the Congress said the conduct of Harivansh was “undemocratic”, his friend and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav sought his resignation.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “Our demands for division were not met and the conduct of the Deputy Chairman was not according to democratic norms.” Further, the Congress announced that it will bring a no confidence motion against him.

However, those who know Harivansh since his journalism days, say a nonpartisan attitude cannot really be expected from him.

Claiming to be a disciple of former PM Chandra Shekhar and known as a Samajwadi among journalists, Harivansh Narayan Singh served as an additional media advisor to Chandra Shekhar.

But he entered politics via Bihar when JDU came to power after the fall of RJD. The former editor of ‘Prabhat Khabar’, Harivash is considered very close to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

As the then editor of the largest selling Hindi daily in Bihar and Jharkhand, Harivansh is known to have written long pieces defending Nitish Kumar in the newspaper when the latter was under Opposition attack.

Starting his career with The Times of India, Harivansh worked in several publications in his four decade long journalistic career. His claim to fame, as an editor and journalist, is unearthing the fodder scam involving RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav. This ‘scoop’ brought him close to Nitish Kumar and BJP, said a Bihar-based political activist.

Interestingly, Harivansh’s entry into politics coincided with the rise of Narendra Modi in Indian polity and NDA’s victory in 2014. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar for a six-year term in 2014 by the JDU.

His followers in the media and journalism fraternity claim that he is the third person ever and the first in forty years to hold the post of RS Deputy Chairman who is not from the Congress.

He was re-elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on September 14 after he returned to the Rajya Sabha for his second term from Bihar.

It is not common knowledge Harivansh started his career drawing a salary of Rs 500. He also actively participated in the JP movement. In the 80s he joined the Bank of India and then via ‘Ravivar’ he joined ‘Prabhat Khabar’ as chief editor in Ranchi.

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Published: 20 Sep 2020, 9:21 PM