Odisha RS polls: BJD wins three seats, Congress one
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Friday won three Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha but was disappointed because the opposition Congress managed to wrest one.
Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das, Textiles Minister Sarojini Hembram and former minister Ananga Udaya Singh Deo -- all from the ruling party -- were elected, official sources said.
However, eminent architect and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra who was backed by the ruling party on the fourth seat, for which no party had the required numbers, lost.
The Congress fielded Ranjib Biswal, a former member of the Lok Sabha from Jagatsinghpur and the Indian Premier League chairman, against Mohapatra and won.
Elections was held to fill up the four Rajya Sabha seats in the state as the terms of Ramachandra Khuntia of the Congress, Mangala Kisan and Renubala Pradhan from the BJD and Balbir Punj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would end April 2.
In the current state assembly, the BJD has 107 members, the Congress 27 and the BJP six. The Communist Party of India (CPI) has one member while there are six Independents in the house.
While one member from the BJP did not turn up for voting, his party colleagues voted in favour of Mohapatra. The CPI and three Independent members also supported the BJD-backed candidate.
"I am very happy the three BJD candidates won. It is very sad Independent candidate (Mohapatra) lost," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.
(Posted on 07-02-2014)