BJD to impose whip on MLAs in Presidential poll
Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD, which had proposed P A Sangma as presidential candidate, on Thursday said it would impose whip on its MLAs for next month's elections for the top post while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik maintained silence over the issue.
BJD's chief whip in Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) Rabi Narayan Pani said "We will certainly impose whip on our MLAs if there is a voting in the Presidential elections."
Patnaik was the first to moot the name of Sangma for the presidential candidate. Sangma later got support from AIADMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
While Patnaik kept silent on the issue after name of Pranab Mukherjee came to the fore, BJD leaders seemed to have adopted a cautious approach on the matter.
Though reporters had been trying to get Patnaik's views on the important topic, the Chief Minister was not ready to respond.
"We have been supporting Sangma's candidature after his name was
announced by the Chief Minister," said BJD Lok Sabha MP Bhartuhari Mahtab adding that as of now "there was no question of re-considering on the Presidential candidate."
BJD's Rajya Sabha MP Sashi Bhusan Behera also said that the party wants Sangma as the Presidential candidate.
The ruling BJD has 104 MLAs and 21 MPs, including seven rajya sabha members.