BHUBANESWAR: Putting all rumours of a secret pact between the ruling BJD and BJP after the regional outfit extended support to the NDA nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh to the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman to rest, Union Minister for Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said the saffron party will fight next elections alone.
Clarifying that the BJP has no understanding with the BJD, Javadekar who arrived here on a three-day visit to the State said the regional party’s support to the NDA candidate will have no impact on the BJP cadres in the State.
“Several parties including BJD supported Harivansh. BJD is neither a part of the NDA nor we have any pact with it,” Javadekar said.
Although it is known fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had sought the support of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the NDA nominee, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan gave a twist to the issue by throwing the ball to the BJD court.
“It is for the BJD to explain as to why it supported the NDA candidate,” Pradhan told reporters here.
Commenting that the BJD might have supported the NDA nominee out of some compulsion, Pradhan sought to know why the regional party did not propose the name of a ‘son of the soil’ for the constitutional post.
Since the Congress nominee was holding the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman for the last four decades, the BJP wanted to free the post from the clutches of the grand old party as part of its “Congress Mukt Bharat” agenda.
“Our responsibility was to snatch Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post from Congress which it held for 40 years. We never wanted the candidate to be from BJP,” he said.
Responding to a query on possible alliance with BJD, the Petroleum Minister said the 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats of the State are in the focus of the BJP. The party has fully geared up its workers to strengthen the organisation at the booth-level.
Asserting that the people of the State have reposed their faith on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing rapid transformation in the country and making Odisha as laboratory of his pro-poor initiatives, Pradhan said the saffron party is working hard to add another engine in the State by winning next elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha.
Responding to Pradhan, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the comments of the Union Minister is misleading as there was never any discussion on fielding candidate from the State during the election. “On one hand the Union Minister is expressing his gratitude to the BJD for its support while on the other, he is criticising the party. This shows his frustration the reason of which understandable,” Patra said.