The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday announced that it would abstain from voting in the Vice-Presidential election, scheduled to be held on August 7.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the decision after consultations with his party MPs and senior leaders. “After consultations with Members of Parliament and senior leaders, the BJD has decided to abstain from voting in the Vice-Presidential election,” Naveen told mediapersons here.
Maintaining its earlier stance to keep equi-distance from both the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA, Naveen said his party MPs favoured not to take part in the election.
The regional party, which was first to name P A Sangma as its candidate for the Presidential poll, has 21 MPs __ 14 in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha. It also has the support of an Independent member in the Rajya Sabha. Though the BJD strongly backed Sangma by projecting him as a prominent tribal leader, the regional outfit had delayed its decision with regard to the Vice-Presidential poll.
While incumbent Hamid Ansari is UPA’s Vice-Presidential candidate, former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh is contesting as the NDA candidate.
Kolkata: Meanwhile, key UPA ally Trinamool Congress indicated support for Hamid Ansari, who is placed comfortably for a win.