Rajya Sabha deputy chairman poll: NDA, UPA seek BJD support

Bhubaneswar: Two days before the election to the post of the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, both NDA and UPA have tried their best to reach out to BJD, seeking its support for their respective candidate as none has majority in 245-member Upper House.

Though BJD has not yet cleared its stand on the poll, it has hinted at supporting JD(U) MP Harivansh Narayan Singh, who is likely to be the NDA’s candidate for the post.

At a press meet, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said that the regional party will announce its decision tomorrow. “JD (U) had not supported BJD’s candidate PA Sangma during presidential election in 2012. Despite this, the JD (U) sought BJD’s support. BJP president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh also requested BJD to support. Keeping all these aspects in view, the party will take a decision tomorrow,” Patra said.

JD(U) supremo and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar talked to BJD president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, seeking his support his party man.  BJP national president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh reportedly telephoned to Naveen Patnaik for help in the fight for Rajya Sabha deputy chief.

Similarly, Naveen also received a call from the UPA camp as NCP leader Sarad Pawar requested him to favour UPA candidate.

Sources said having nine members in the Upper House, BJD could easily be the deciding factor and Naveen could be the last minute game changer in the battle which will take place on August 9.

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