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BJD To Sweep RS Poll

Governing BJD headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to sweep the ensuing Rajya Sabha(RS) elections for four vacant seats as the opposition BJP Monday indicated not to field a candidate.

The indication was given by BJP State General Secretary Prithhwiraj Harichandan. He said the party’s Parliamentary Board is yet to take a decision on fielding a candidate in the RS elections in Odisha.

 
“The State Party will implement the decision of the Parliamentary Party. As no decision has so far been taken, then, we should not discuss on this matter,” said Mr.Harichandan.
       
Though Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik had earlier announced that the BJP will field a candidate in the RS polls, the saffron party sustained a major setback when Naveen Patnaik announced names of four candidates for all the vacant seats.
  
The BJP, like previous 2019 RS elections, was expecting that Naveen will this time also help the saffron party to raise its strength in the House of Elders. Last time, BJD Supremo supported BJP’s Ashiwini Vaishaw basing on the request made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
 
After Mr.Shah’s lunch along with Dharmendra Pradhan at Naveen Niwas on February 28, everybody was expecting that the BJD may gift another Rajya Sabha seat to BJP.

However, Naveen this time, announced names of BJD candidates early much before getting a request phone call either from Mr.Modi or Mr.Shah though Union Home Minister attended Luncheon Meet at his place.

Usually, Naveen announces names of candidates for all the elections in the last moment. However, this time on March 7, he announced names, according to political observers, in a bid not to give an opportunity to Mr.Modi to make further request. This is called Naveen’s move in the political chess board, said a political observer.
 
As BJP has only 23 MLAs in the House of 147 member Odisha Legislative Assembly, the party candidate cannot win the RS polls as one require at least 29 first preference vote for victory. Therefore, BJP was short of support from at least 6 MLAs.
       
When Naveen has already announced names of four candidates, there is no hope that the BJD will support the BJP candidate. This apart, the there is no question of getting support either from the nine member of Congress or the lone MLA of CPM. Therefore, BJP may not field any candidate for the March 26 RS polls.
 
 In all probability, all the four BJD candidates will be elected unopposed, feel political observers.
 
Meanwhile, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Niranjan Patnaik said his party will neither support the BJD nor the BJP candidates. “As we have no Rajya Sabha candidate, our MLAs don’t need to vote,” said Mr.Patnaik.


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