BJD Sweeps RS Polls In Orissa

BJD on Thursday swept the Rajya Sabha elections in Orissa as all the three seats were won by the ruling party while an independent nominee backed by Congress and BJP lost.  While BJD's first two
bjd sweeps rs polls in orissa - India TV
PTI June 17, 2010 22:28 IST
BJD on Thursday swept the Rajya Sabha elections in Orissa as all the three seats were won by the ruling party while an independent nominee backed by Congress and BJP lost.  

While BJD's first two candidates - sitting Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and former MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera - secured 37 first preference votes each, the party's third candidate Baishnab Charan Parida got 36 votes. Independent candidate and prominent industrialist Tara Ranjan Patnaik bagged 33 votes.  

Of the 144 votes polled in the 147-member assembly, one was rejected and another was not counted in view of a dispute relating to violation of election procedure allegedly by an NCP MLA.

The rejected vote was suspected to have been cast by a Congress MLA. Of the 27 Congress MLAs, 25 voted in favour of the independent candidate while two remained absent. Of the six BJP MLAs, five cast their votes while Bonai legislator Bhimsen Choudhury abstained.  

Denying claims by BJP leaders that he was abducted by BJD men, Choudhury told reporters, "I decided to abstain as I did not want to vote for Tara Ranjan Patnaik as per the whip issued by the party." Reacting to Choudhury's statement, BJP state vice- president Ashok Sahu said disciplinary action could be taken against him.  

Terming RS poll results as a "great victory," chief minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik said, "I am delighted over the victory of all the three party candidates." He expressed hope that the new RS members will work "very hard" to protect interest of the state.

BJD's third candidate Baishnab Charan Parida, whose win was doubtful since the very beginning in view of shortage of at least eight first preference votes, thanked the chief minister and Mohapatra for the BJD's victory. Mohapatra, who won the RS polls for the second time in a row, said, "Internal rift within the opposition parties gave devidend for BJD."

Dubbing the coming together of Congress and BJP in the RS polls as the "seventh wonder", Mohapatra said wrong strategy adopted by the opposition parties came as a boon for the ruling party candidates. The RS poll verdicts came as a major boost for the ruling party which under the leadership of Patnaik has never lost any poll held in the past one decade.

Opposition leaders, on the other hand alleged that "money and muscle power" were used by the ruling party to influence Congress and BJP candidates. PTI



 
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