Bhubaneswar, Jan 25:War of words has begun between the three major political parties -BJD, BJP and Congress- over the four Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant from Odisha, even though the formal notification has not been issued for the election.
The seats of Narendra Swain and Sarojini Hembram (BJD) and Ranjib Biswal (Congress) will fall vacant in April this year. Earlier, the seat of Anubhav Mohanty has fallen vacant following his election to Lok Sabha from Kendrapara on BJD ticket.
Members of the 147-member of Odisha assembly elect members to the Upper House of the Parliament. At present, the ruling BJD has 112 members in the assembly, BJP 23 and Congress 10.
Though the ruling BJD has required strength to win three out of the four seats on its own, it has exuded confidence to win all the four seats. “We will win all the four Rajya Sabha seats”, said BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy.
On the other hand, the Opposition BJP and Congress do not have clear strength to win the fourth seat. Congress said that the BJP and BJD would join hands to win the fourth seat. “BJD does not have the required strength to win the fourth seat. The BJD and BJP may join hands like last time to win the fourth seat”, said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik.
It may be recalled that last time, BJP candidate Ashwini Vaisnav had won the fourth Rajya Sabha seat with the tacit support of BJD, though the saffron party did not have the require strength in the state assembly.
Countering the PCC president’s statement, BJP leader Golak Mohapatra said, “” We don’t have the habit of managing with the BJD to win Rajya Sabha election. It’s the Congress which is habituated with such trick”, said he with an oblique reference of victory of Ranjib Biswal (Congress) in 2014 due to cross voting of BJD legislators.