Bhubaneswar: Backed by the opposition
Congress, industrialist Tara Ranjan Patnaik today filed his
nomination for the June 17 Rajy Sabha polls in Orissa, a day
after BJP decided to abstain from the election process.
Accompanied by leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh
and Congress MLAs, 57-year-old Patnaik submitted two sets of
Claiming that he enjoyed the support of at least 40
MLAs, Patnaik said he was confident of getting elected to the
upper house of Parliament as the united opposition candidate.
Though state BJP leadership had earlier decided to
support an united opposition candidate to prevent the ruling
BJD from sweeping in all the three Rajya Sabha seats falling
vacant from July 1, it changed its stand yesterday by
announcing that its MLAs would abstain from voting.
The third seat is crucial as neither the ruling BJD
nor the opposition parties have requisite strength of 37 first
preference vote in the 147-member house. Each candidate needs
at least 37 first preference votes to win the polls.
While BJD has an edge over others with 103 members in
the assembly, its first two candidates are sure to win the
polls by securing 74 first preference votes. However, its
third candidate requires support of eight more law makers from
outside the party.
Congress, the main opposition in the assembly, has 27
members followed by BJP (six), NCP (four), CPI (one) and six