The ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha on Sunday announced that it would abstain from voting in the vice-presidential election scheduled to be held on August 7.
"After consultation with parliament members and senior leaders, the party has decided to abstain from voting in the vice-presidential elections," BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the media in Bhubaneswar.
Maintaining its earlier stance to maintain equi-distance from both the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, Patnaik said his party MPs favoured not taking part in the election process.
The regional party which was first to name P A Sangma as its candidate for the presidential poll, has 21 MPs, 14 in Lok Sabha and seven in Rajya Sabha.
Though the BJD strongly backed Sangma by projecting him as a prominent tribal and minority leader, the regional outfit had delayed its decision with regard to the vice-presidential poll.