BHUBANESWAR: UPA's Vice-Presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi today met BJD MPs in the residence of Bhartruhari Mahatab, BJD parliamentary leader, at New Delhi and thanked the regional party for its support ahead of the election for the post scheduled for August 5.
All the BJD MPs including Baijayant Panda, Tathagat Satpathy, Prasanna Acharya, Jhina Hikaka, Pratap Deb, Pinaki Mishra, Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh, Anubhav Mohanty and others were present during the informal meeting.
Gandhi thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for extending BJD's support for his candidature. " I am happy to meet you all and appreciate Naveen Patnaik for his support to my candidature," he said.
"I am fighting for ideology," he said and added, "The ideals for which Mahatma Gandhi fought all his life is now in danger." The UPA vice-presidential candidate said he does not belong to any political party.
"I had many opportunities to visit your State and every time I have been very warmly received by Naveen Babu with whom I have enjoyed many years of warm friendship," he said. Describing his long relationship with Odisha and its leaders, Gandhi said, "When I was in college and university, I had close association with Odisha."
The BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik had announced his party's support to the Opposition vice presidential candidate though it had the NDA presidential candidate. Though opposition political parties in Odisha claimed that some of the BJD MPs may vote for NDA presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu, sources in the ruling party ruled out such a possibility.
The BJD has 20 Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha besides eight Rajya Sabha MPs. BJD has support of one independent Rajya Sabha MP AV Swami.