Bhubaneswar: In a bid to prevent a
possible cross-voting in the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections on
Thursday, the ruling BJD has issued a whip on its MLAs, while
the opposition Congress has followed suit to ensure victory of
the independent candidate.
Though the ruling BJD claimed to have adequate number
of support to win in all the three Rajya Sabha seats, the
party leadership preferred to issue whip keeping in view the
result of 2002 polls where the then independent candidate
Dilip Ray came victorious.
Ray had won the RS polls with support from
independents and BJD MLAs eight years ago, recalled a senior
minister, adding that it was safe to issue whip.
The ruling party with a majority of 103 MLAs in the
147-member Orissa Assembly, had fielded three candidates for
the biennial elections even as it required 111 first
preference votes. The party required eight more votes to
ensure victory of its third candidate while its first two
candidates were sure to win the polls by securing 37 votes
BJD is confident of getting four votes from NCP and
one from CPI while it still required three votes. "We will get
votes of two independent MLAs (Ramesh Rout and Rajendra
Sahoo). Therefore, party requirement is only one which may
come from any party," BJD leader Pyarimohan Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, NCP today announced its unconditional
support to the candidate of the ruling BJD in Orissa.
The announcement was made by NCP legislature party
leader Amar Prasad Satpathy after four party MLAs met BJD
supremo and CM Naveen Patnaik this evening.