New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Janata Dal-United MP Harivansh Narayan Singh on Wednesday filed his nomination papers as the NDA candidate for the post of the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Union Ministers Ananth Kumar, Piyush Goyal, Vijay Goel along with leaders of the Akali Dal, Shiv Sena and other constituents of the NDA were present when Harivansh Singh filed his nomination before Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma.

Harivansh Singh, a first-timer in the Upper House and a former Editor of Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar, is considered close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

BJP President Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U President Nitish Kumar on Tuesday spoke with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik separately and sought his Biju Janata Dal’s support for Harivansh Singh.

Nitish Kumar also spoke to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and sought his party’s support.

The BJD has not yet decided whom to support while the TRS has made it clear that it will vote against the NDA.

The election is likely to be a close affair as the opposition bloc has an edge over the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in terms of numbers.

The outcome will depend on the stance of parties such as BJD, AIADMK and YSR Congress Party — which could ally with the government in certain situations.

The Rajya Sabha will elect its Deputy Chairman on August 9.

The post of the Deputy Chairman fell vacant after P.J. Kurien retired in July.

The election will be held a day before the conclusion of the monsoon session of Parliament.

IANS