Harivansh Narayan Singh, Janata Dal-United (JDU) MP was appointed as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on Thursday. In a close battle of votes, Singh beat his opposition candidate BK Hariprasad by 20 votes to win the seat. While Harivansh got 125 votes, BK Hariprasad managed to get 105 votes.
Born on June 30, 1956 in Uttar Pradesh Balia in a middle-class family, Harivansh is a post-graduate in Economics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Harivansh also has PG Diploma in journalism from the university. During his college days, Harivansh was influenced by the great socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan (JP). He had also actively participated in the JP Movement of 1974. In an interview, Harivansh had revealed that he started his first job on a salary of just Rs 500 per month.
Talking about Harivansh’s journey, he joined Times of India as a trainee journalist for his first job and then later he moved to Mumbai and worked in ‘Dharmyug’ magazine which was quite popular in those days. He worked with the magazine till 1981. Later on, from 1981 to 1984 Harivansh worked with Bank of India. He then joined Amrit Bazar Patrika's magazine 'Ravivar' as an Assistant Editor. He worked there till 1989 after which he was handed over the responsibility of Usha Martin group's struggling newspaper - Prabhat Khabar - in Ranchi.
When Chandrashekhar became the Prime Minister in 1990 after VP Singh, Harivansh was roped in as his additional media advisor. After serving as editor in Prabhat Khabar for over 25 years, Harivansh was nominated for Rajya Sabha in 2014 by the Nitish Kumar's JDU. Interestingly, Harivansh was not even a primary member of the party before he was picked for the Upper House of Parliament.
Harivansh was elated with the results. He expressed the same in his victory speech. “I am honoured to be elected the deputy chairperson. I will do my duty for the country to the best of my ability. I thank you all for your kinds words and good wishes are I take this responsibility. I come from a small village, which is located between two rivers. I studied under a tree when I was a young boy. Back in those days, we heard big things about New Delhi or rather, Lutyens' Delhi. I never imagined that one day I would hold an office as important as this in parliament one day. My roots will keep me grounded, and I will give my all to the benefit of my country. I have learned a lot working with you all, and am certain that it will help me deal with matters better,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too welcomed the newly appointed Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman and also thanked the house members for the co-operation.