Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Parliament on Tuesday created a buzz about the upcoming Presidential polls likely to be conducted in June-July.
During his visit, Patnaik, who is the senior-most Chief Minister in India at present, being in power since 2000, met the MPs of his party, as well as his Assam counterpart and BJP stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma and DMK leader T.R. Baalu.
However, as per sources, Patnaik, asked about his BJD’s preferences in the presidential polls, did not give an unequivocal answer. “There is still time for the Presidential elections so no thoughts on that for the moment,” he said.
The BJP has a majority in the Parliament, but in terms of big states – which are key in the election, has seen its strength reduce in UP while several other big states are ruled by opposition parties, whose unity can make the situation tense for the party.
BSP supremo Mayawati has termed reports of her being a candidate as “rumours” while West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had warned the BJP that the Presidential election will not be an easy task for it because they don’t have even half of the legislators of the country.
“Regional forces, such as the Samajwadi Party, may have been defeated but they are stronger now,” she had said, adding that opposition parties have more MLAs across the nation.
The electoral college, comprising 776 MPs of both the Houses and 4,120 MLAs of all the states and Union Territories, has 1,098,903 votes, and a majority is 549,452 votes. As far as the value of votes is concerned, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of votes, approximately 83,824, followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.