Prime Minister Narendra Modi today highlighted the role of Bihar in the country’s “democratic ethos”, recalling former greats like Jayaprakash Narayan and Karpuri Thakur while congratulating Rajya Sabha member Harivansh Singh, who got elected as the deputy chairman of the Upper House today for a second time.
Mr Singh — who held the post since 2018 — happens to be from Bihar, a state headed for assembly elections later this year.
“Harivansh-ji is a torchbearer of democracy, hailing from Bihar, a land known for its democratic ethos,” PM Modi said in his address at the upper house as the monsoon session of parliament started today.
Bihar is the land of JP (Jayaprakash Narayan) and Karpuri Thakur (former Chief Minister) and the land of Bapu’s Champaran,” PM Modi said. “We all know that Harivansh Ji hails from Jai Prakash-ji’s village Sitabdiara,” he added, drawing attention to the political leader and social activist.
Titled “Lok Nayak”, Jayaprakash Narayan had started a political movement, which shaped most of today’s political leaders from Bihar — Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh who died last week.
Bihar has been the “land of India’s democratic system”, PM Modi said. “I believe that Harivansh Ji will take forward this legacy,” he added.
Terming Mr Singh an “outstanding umpire who belongs to all sides of the aisle”, PM Modi said he has “conducted proceedings in an impartial manner”.
“The respect I hold for Harivansh ji, each member of the House shares. He has earned this respect. His unbiased role in the Parliament strengthens our democracy,” the Prime Minister added.
In 2018, Harivansh Singh had defeated Congress’s BK Hariprasad in the election to the post. It fell vacant at the end of his Rajya Sabha term.
He was re-elected by a voice vote today, beating Rashtriya Janata Dal member Professor Manoj Kumar Jha, who was being backed by the opposition.
The YSR Congress had backed the BJP’s candidate.
“This is the second time Harivansh Singh has been elected as the deputy chairman of the House. I congratulate him. He has been just to members of all parties,” Congress’s Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the election.