Harivansh, belonging to the Janata Dal (United), was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. He was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the post. While Mr. Harivansh secured 125 votes in his favour, 105 members voted against him.Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said that Mr. Harivansh full name was Harivansh Narayan Singh, but he was inspired by Jaiprakash Narayan and dropped his surname.
The 62-year-old was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in April 2014. He is a post-graduate in Economics and holds a diploma in Journalism. Before entering into the world of politics, he was a journalist for many years. Though he secured a government job as a bank officer, he chose to work as a journalist. He started as a sub editor in Dharmyug and went on to work in publications such as Ravivar and Prabhat Khabar. He later became the Chief Editor of Prabhat Khabar.Mr. Harivansh is a published Hindi author, who has been was honoured for his contributions to the language at the World Hindi Conference in September 2012. He is the recipient of the Madhav Rao Sapre Award in Bhopal for his contributions to journalism.
Mr. Harivansh is a first-time MP from the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U). He had briefly worked as an adviser to the former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar but went back to journalism after that government fell. He has a 89% attendance in the current Rajya Sabha and has been vocal about the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, and the banking sector crisis in the country, among other issues in the House. He is preceded by P.J.Kurien, who completed his term as Deputy Chairman on July 1, 2018. The post has been lying vacant since then.Although Harivansh became a parliamentarian in 2014, his association with the high offices in Delhi started in the 1990s when he was appointed additional information adviser, joint secretary, prime minister’s office (PMO), when veteran socialist leaders Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Chandrashekhar were prime ministers of the country. During his tenure at the PMO, which started in June 1990 when Singh was prime minister, his one-year term was under two prime ministers. With an ideological leanings of a socialist, Harivansh only uses his first name and avoids his surname, a sign of a caste identity of a person