BHUBANESWAR: AS the BJD’s support to NDA candidate for the Deputy Chairperson in Rajya Sabha has rekindled speculation of its secret alliance with the BJP, the regional outfit on Saturday clarified that it is steadfast in its policy of maintaining equi-distance from Congress and the saffron party. This is the second time during the last two days that the BJD has issued a clarification over the issue. BJD has already made it clear what led the party to extend support to JD(U) candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh, party spokesperson Sasmit Patra said and added that the policy of maintaining equi-distance from the Congress and BJP will continue in future.
“If the Opposition political parties are still not convinced, the BJD has nothing more to say,” Patra said. He said BJD had expected that as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha is a Constitutional post, a candidate will be nominated to that post by consensus. As there was no consensus in this regard, BJD supported the JD(U) candidate, he said. In the wake up of the NDA nominee winning the keenly fought contest with 125 votes against 101 by UPA candidate B K Hariprasad, a fuming Opposition led by the Congress has mounted a scathing attack on the BJD. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik in a tweet posted separate pictures of Naveen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi purportedly talking about the election with the caption “phone a friend”.
In a separate post, he shared another photograph of the Chief Minister captioned “all lines to this route are busy” mocking the Chief Minister’s alleged failure to get access to Modi to discuss the special category status for Odisha. The Congress leader further said, “The PM and the CM have been talking a lot on phone these days. Wonder when will they talk about issues on Odisha? Why does not the CM pick up the phone and ask the PM to intervene on the construction of barrages on Mahanadi by the BJP ruled Chhattisgarh Government?” Ridiculing Naveen Patnaik’s claim of maintaining equal distance from the NDA and the UPA, he said in another tweet, “The equal distance has turned into better understanding. The games of BJD and BJP have been totally exposed. Sad that BJD has chosen to ally with BJP, a party which betrayed Odisha on every front.”