Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to abstain from voting in the ensuing vice-presidential election.
This was disclosed by Odisha Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik here after consultations with party MPs and senior leaders.
Patnaik said the BJD would neither support Congress-led UPA candidate nor BJP-led NDA nominee.
The BJD has 14 Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha members. One of the Rajya Sabha members Pyari Mohan Mohapatra has been suspended from the party.
UPA nominee Mohammad Hamid Ansari will lock horns with the NDA's candidate Jaswant Singh for the post of Vice President of India.
Hamid Ansari has a definite edge in the vice presidential election, as he has the support of the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), CPM and the National Conference.
The Vice President is elected through a direct ballot with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members (including nominated) comprising the Electoral College.
A total of 790 MPs are eligible to cast their vote on August 7 to elect the 14th Vice President of India. (ANI)