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RS Dy-Chairman election: Nitish Kumar calls Naveen Patnaik for BJD's support

RS Dy-Chairman election: Nitish Kumar calls Naveen Patnaik for BJD's support


PTI 07 Aug 2018, 03:36 PM India

Janata Dal (U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today spoke to his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik seeking the BJD's support for his party candidate in the election to the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) spokesman Sasmit Patra said Patnaik will take a decision on the BJD's stand in the matter tomorrow.

"Kumar has requested our chief minister to support JD(U) MP and NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh in the the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman election," Patra told reporters here.

The deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha will be elected on August 9.

BJD has nine members in the Rajya Sabha. Support of the Odisha centric party in the ensuing poll would be crucial as neither the NDA nor the UPA have clear majority in the House.

The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 244 and support of 123 members is required for a candidate to win the polls.

JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi said his party's leaders are in touch with all the parties to seek support for Harivansh Narayan Singh for the post.

The BJD, headed by Patnaik, has been claiming that the regional party maintained equal distance from both the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA.

"BJD's nine votes is considered as crucial for both the fronts," pointed out a senior party leader, adding that Patnaik would take the final decision tomorrow in this regard.

However, keeping the recent warm relation between the BJD and the BJP, political observers feel that Patnaik may go with the NDA in wake of calls he has been receiving from saffron leaders.

Recently, BJP president Amit Shah had praised BJD for its support in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue. The BJD was the only political party other than the BJP which had supported NRC.

Earlier, the BJD had also supported the NDA during the presidential elections, demonetisation, GST and other issues despite its claim of maintaining equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP.

The post of the deputy chairman, Rajya Sabha, is lying vacant since July after retirement of PJ Kurien.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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