BJD to abstain from voting in Vice-Prez poll

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD in state 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 reporters here.

Maintaining its earlier stance to maintain equi-distance from both the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA, 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.