Estranged allies bury hatchet for RS seats | india | Hindustan Times
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Estranged allies bury hatchet for RS seats

Months before the Lok Sabha polls, estranged allies are joining hands to get a candidate of their choice in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2014 00:41 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

Months before the Lok Sabha polls, estranged allies are joining hands to get a candidate of their choice in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and BJP are all set to support renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who will contest as an independent candidate from Odisha. The BJD had snapped ties with the BJP in 2009 over the anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal. While BJD announced Mohapatra’s candidature, BJP national general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan said the party will support an independent candidate.

In West Bengal, the CPI(M) will join hands with the Congress to support an independent candidate.

"It has always been a tradition to support an independent candidate who is renowned and has impeccable integrity," CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury told HT. The two parties may decide to give Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi another term or it may field noted historian Hosen-ur Rehman. The move is to ensure that Trinamool—rival to both CPI(M) and Congress—does not get an extra MP.

Ironically, in Tamil Nadu, the CPI(M) has tied with J Jayalalitha’s AIADMK—an arch rival of the Congress to get its sitting MP TK Rangarajan re-elected.

Both BJD and CPI(M), however, denied that these adjustments can have a bearing in the upcoming LS polls. While Yehcury maintained that they want to defeat both Congress and BJP, BJD’s chief whip Bhartruhari Mahtab told HT, "I do not think BJD will have any truck with the BJP." But the BJD is keen for an understanding with AIADMK in the post-poll scenario, sources added.