Bhubaneswar: In a bid to keep its flock
together ahead of Rajya Sabha polls on Thursday, the ruling
BJD has lodged its MLAs at a posh hotel in Puri, about 60 km
from the state capital.
Though the ruling party issued whip to its MLAs fearing
poaching by the opposition camp, the BJD leadership felt it
safe to keep all the voters under one roof till voting was
"Yes, some BJD MLAs have come to Puri to stay at a hotel,"
said BJD MLA Sanjay Dasburma admitting that the ruling party
lawmakers had been camping there since two days.
While the party leadership kept the MLAs under strict
surveillance, former minister and sitting MLA Padmanav Behera
claimed that the law makers had been staying at a hotel in
Puri to celebrate Raja festival.
Keeping in view the lesson learnt from a Rajya Sabha
poll in 2002 where BJD MLAs voted an independent MLA defying
party line, BJP does not want to take any chance this time, a
senior leader said adding the party has identified MLAs
vulnerable to poaching by the rival camp.
Besides confining MLAs in air-conditioned hotel, the
party had also ensured that none from outside establishes
contact with the the law makers, they said.