Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa has elected four of five candidates to the Rajya Sabha. They are: Ananga Uday Singhdeo, Kalpataru Das and Saraswati Hembrum of BJD and Ranjib Biswal of the Congress Party.
Raghunath Mohapatra, who could not win, was planted as independent candidate by the ruling party – BJD. He would not have lost, had precious six first preference votes of BJD not been used to bulge the victory of its three successful candidates.
When to comfortably win, candidates were requiring 30 first preference votes each, the BJD had enough MLAs to ensure victory of its three candidates. So, the three official BJD candidates were not supposed to be defeated. The factotumal loyalty of the BJD MLAs to Naveen Patnaik was expected to give victory to his fourth candidate too.
Horses were procured and the BJP bloc, eager to pave the path for their prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, had declared its support to Naveen’s planted candidate, in hope against hope to rope him in when fight against the Congress for the top political post of the country would be calling. So, Mahapatra was expected to win. But, he succumbed to the dearth of first preference votes as six of BJD MLAs preferred not to budge as per whims of Naveen, but rather to help their own party candidates bulge with votes in excess of what they really needed. Thus, when Mohapatra’ defeat is a political defeat of Naveen Patnaik, the victory of his three candidates carries no signature of victory, in absence of any challenge.
Therefore, if victory is viewable, it is only in the election of the Congress candidate Ranjib Biswal, to defeat whom, the ruling party was indulged in horse-trading sans any qualms.