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Anti-BJP front puts up brave face in RJ

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Non-Cong parties question why Rahul did not reach out

New Delhi, Aug 9 :  Most opposition parties feel their candidate could have got more votes in the polls for the post of deputy chairman Rajya Sabha had the Congress nominated a member from any of its supporting parties, even as they asserted that the NDA candidate’s victory was not a setback to their unity efforts against the BJP.

Though the Opposition is putting up a brave face, murmurs of dissatisfaction could be heard in the galleries of Parliament with some leaders questioning why Congress President Rahul Gandhi did not reach out to parties like the AAP, which could have extended support, like Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar did by calling up BJD and TRS leaders.

Also, some leaders are of the opinion that a Congress member as opposition candidate closed the chances of getting votes from some parties who didn’t wish to be seen close to any camp.

“We still are united in our opposition to the BJP and NDA. Today’s result shows the desperation of the government. the PM had to be on phone to get votes for the NDA candidate. The election is certainly not the end of the world for us. These are just the warm up matches for the world cup and it should be played and there the voters are different,” TMC leader Derek O’Brien told reporters.

He was speaking after NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh secured 125 votes against 105 by opposition’s B K Hariprasad.

“If Congress had put up a non-Congress candidate or even decided to project someone from TDP or any other opposition party, then we could have gathered more votes,” said a senior Opposition leader on the terms of anonymity.

After deciding to contest the polls against the BJP, the opposition parties had asked the Congress to put up a joint candidate. However, after the result today, many of them said they had expected that the Congress would nominate a non-Congress MP for the post but it did not happen.

Also, the opposition leaders were dissatisfied with the Congress’ strategy.

A phone call from Congress president Rahul Gandhi could have managed to get AAP members to vote for the Opposition candidate, said some other leaders of the non-Congress parties.

“Nitish Kumar had called Arvind Kejriwal seeking support for NDA candidate but Kejriwal refused. If Nitish could call why can’t Gandhi,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh told PTI.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has three members, stayed away from voting.

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