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Odisha: BJD to support NDA nominee in RS Dy chairperson poll

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Bhubaneswar: Putting an end to all speculations and political gossip, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) stated that it will support the NDA-backed JDU MP Harivansh Narayan Singh in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson election. The election is slated to be held on August 9.

BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after arriving here from Mumbai. He also confirmed that he had spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah earlier in the week.

“Nitish Kumar has spoken to me, so we will be supporting the Janata Dal (United) candidate, who is also the candidate of NDA, for the Rajya Sabha election,” Naveen said, ending speculations about BJD’s stand in the matter.

BJD on Tuesday said both the NDA and the Opposition have sought its support for their candidates to the post of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson.

The BJP National President, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar on Tuesday spoke with Patnaik separately.

Congress MP B.K. Hariprasad was on Wednesday declared as the opposition candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.

NCP’s Vandana Chavan is the Opposition candidate for the post.

Since no party has the required strength, BJD’s nine MPs in the Rajya Sabha is significant for the NDA or the opposition parties.

Out of a total of 245 members in the Rajya Sabha, there are 244 members in the upper house now. While the BJP-led NDA has 90 members, the Congress-led joint opposition has 112 members.

The support of 123 members would be needed for a win.

The post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman remained vacant after P. J. Kurien retired on June 30 this year.