August 7, 2018 3:42:21 pm
The BJD has confirmed that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to request support from his party to elect NDA’s nominee for Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. JD(U)’s Harivansh Narayan Singh is the likely NDA candidate, according to sources in the BJD. The post of the Deputy Chairperson has been vacant since July, following the tenure of Congress leader PJ Kurien from Kerala.
“Naveen Patnaik received a call from Nitish Kumar earlier in the day”, said BJD spokesperson Dr Sasmit Patra. “Kumar had supported BJD’s nominee for President P A Sangma in 2012. The Bihar Chief Minister now seeks support for the JD(U) party candidate to assume the post of Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha”.
The BJD has not commented on reports that BJP President Amit Shah and NCP leader Sharad Pawar have also spoken with Naveen Patnaik. NCP’s Vandana Chavan is the opposition candidate for the post. Patnaik is expected to take a decision by Wednesday morning, said the party leaders. In a contest that is expected to be tight, BJD’s nine MPs in Rajya Sabha can be significant for the NDA or the opposition parties.
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