OST Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 26 :
It’s official now.
As anticipated, former MP and IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal will be the Congress candidate for the fourth Rajya Sabha seat.
The cricketer turned politican’s name was announced by the AICC on Sunday evening.
Party sources had earlier said while there are several contenders, the candidate who will contest with the BJD-backed renowned sculptor Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra will be a ‘national figure’.
With Biswal becoming the official Congress candidate and BJP yet to make up its mind, the election for the fourth seat is bound to have a nail-biting finish.
For Mohapatra who was so far banking on support from the Congress in view of his personal equation with many top AICC leaders, it appears a rather tough battle ahead.
Firstly, he does not have the support of the required number of MLAs. And even if the BJP chooses to back him he would still fall short of the required number of votes ( 30) to win the seat.
Biswal is likely to face a similar challenge as well. Congress has 27 party MLAs in the Assembly. Even if all of them as welll as the independent legislators like Talcher MLA Brajakishore Pradhan and Champua MLA Jitu Patnaik support him he would still need the support of another MLA to make it to the Upper House.
However, the all important question is : will all the party MLAs stand unitedly behind Biswal or would there be a repeat of 2009 ?