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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Amid much hue and cry, Congress nominee Ranjib Biswal emerged victorious defeating his nearest rival Raghunath Mohapatra in Rajya Sabha elections. Similarly, BJD candidates Kalpataru Das, Anang Uday Singh Deo and Sarojini Hembram whose winning possibilities was imminent managed to enter the upper house of Parliament without any hick ups.

According to reliable sources, former cricketer turned politician Ranjib got 29 first preference votes while sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra bagged only 20 first preference votes. Other three candidates have received more than 30 first preference votes each. Ananga Uday got 33 first preference votes while 32 went in favor Kalpataru Das. At least 31 first preference votes went to the lone woman candidate of the BJD, Sarojini Hembram.

Out of 147 legislators, 146 have cast their votes while one from BJP, Manoj Pradhan abstained from voting. The two ailing MLAs, Basudev Majhi of Congress and Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik of BJD, were also found visiting polling booth from hospital for voting. Only the vote of Kalindi Behera was rejected.

Even as the victory of BJD’s three candidates was clear from the beginning, the fate of Ranjib Biswal and BJD-backed Independent candidate Raghunath Mohapatra hanged in balance over the fourth seat as both were lacking the required number of votes.

With his party MLAs, Ranjib was far ahead of his nearest rival Raghunath. The last moment decision of BJP to vote for the Independent candidate too failed to satisfy the poll statistics in favor of Raghunath.

Reacting to poll results, Ranjib Biswal dedicated his victory to Congress party. “This is the victory of Congress party. In future, the party will work together”, Biswal said. On the other hand, defeated candidate Raghunath Mohapatra reiterated his traditional dialogue saying God’s desire was fulfilled. “My defeat is the defeat of Lord Jagannath”, Mohapatra said.

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