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RS dy chairman poll: Naveen keeps cards close to chest

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

called up today seeking his party's support for the NDA candidate in the election to the post of tomorrow, but the chief minister preferred to keep the cards close to his chest.

Modi telephoned Patnaik when the latter was attending an investment meet in and asked for support of the nine BJD MPs to the NDA candidate - Harivansh of the JD(U), BJD sources said here.

Patnaik, however, has not given him any assurance regarding the BJD's stand.

"Patnaik is likely to announce the BJD's stand on the election to the post of an hour before the voting tomorrow," the sources said.

The party would keep in mind its policy of maintaining equal distance from both the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA while making a decision, the sources said.

After JD(U) sought his party's support yesterday, had said Patnaik would decide on the the party's stand today.

NDA candidate Harivansh met the BJD's members in Parliament today and sought their support, the in Rajya Sabha Prasanna Acharya told over the phone.

Asked if the UPA candidate, B K Hariprasad, also met the BJD MPs, Acharya said, "No."

When contacted, Hariprasad said senior leaders and have spoken to Patnaik to seek the support of BJD MPs.

"We are optimistic to win the poll, but a lot depends on the decision of the BJD," he said.

The vote of the BJD's nine MPs is considered crucial as neither the NDA nor the UPA candidate has the required numbers to win the election.

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

Amit Shah, and had also called Patnaik yesterday to seek the BJD's support for the election tomorrow.

Recently, Shah had praised the BJD for its support on the National Register of Citizens issue. The BJD was the only political party other than the BJP which had supported the NRC. Earlier, the BJD had also supported the NDA on several issues such as the presidential elections, demonetisation and GST.

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

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 23:10 IST