Congress issues whip for RS polls
Amidst hectic activities in the ruling BJD and Opposition camps on the eve of Rajya Sabha polls in Orissa, Congress Wednesday issued a whip to its MLAs to be present and vote for Tara Ranjan Patnaik.
Bhubaneswar: Amidst hectic activities in
the ruling BJD and Opposition camps on the eve of Rajya Sabha
polls in Orissa, Congress Wednesday issued a whip to its MLAs to
be present and vote for party-backed Independent candidate
Tara Ranjan Patnaik during the election.
"A three line whip has been issued to all party
legislators asking them to be present during Rajya Sabha polls
and vote for Tara Ranjan Patnaik," Congress chief whip Prasad
Ruling out cross-voting by Congress MLAs tomorrow, he
said all the votes of the main opposition party, which has 27
members in the 147-member state assembly, are intact and there
is no division among the members.
As last ditch efforts by both the camps to woo more
legislators gained pace, the ruling BJD lodged its legislators
in hotels in Puri to prevent them from being influenced by the
opposition, sources said.
The ruling BJD, not sure about getting the required
number of votes for its third candidate, fears poaching by the
opposition camp and wants to keep all the voters under one
roof amid strict surveillance till the last moment.
Though BJD has issued a whip to its MLAs, the party
finds for the first time that its legislators are vulnerable
to possible opposition poaching, they said.
The MLAs are not being allowed to establish contact
with anybody and use their mobile phones as BJD does not want
to take any risk, sources said.
BJD has fielded three candidates for all the three RS
seats falling vacant from next month even as the party, which
has 103 members in a housef 147, requires eight more first
While NCP has announced support of its four votes to
BJD`s third candidate, two independent MLAs have also made
similar statements. BJD leaders are also confident of getting
CPI`s lone vote.
With the support of these parties, BJD requires only
one vote to ensure victory of its third candidate. One needs
37 first preference vote to get elected to the upper house of
Parliament from the state.
Independent candidate Patnaik, assured to get 27
Congress votes and three from independent members, is hopeful
of getting six votes from BJP and another associate member of
the saffron party.