The Biju Janata Dal on Saturday resolved to abstain in the vice-presidential polls. It has 20 MPs in both houses.
Chief Minister of Odisha, and the chief of Biju Janata Dal, Navin Patnaik on Saturday consulted his senior party leaders on the issue. A final decision to stay away from polls was taken.
The BJD feels it suffered a setback in P A Sangma's candidature for the Presidential polls. Patnaik shared his mindset with his party MPs that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar got financial packages aimed at sidelining the smaller parties that rule in Odisha and in Tamil Nadu. Patnaik also felt that his political calculations misfired.
Navin Patnaik's main concern was the speculation about the BJD being a possible ally of the National Democratic Alliance after the Lok Sabha polls. He was keen on dispelling this impression, by keeping his distance from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Interestingly, Patnaik also consulted All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Jayalalithaa, but she is yet to take a final decision.
Since she is undergoing a medical treatment in Ooty, her decision might be announced on August 4 or 5, just in time for voting.