Bhartruhari Mahatab makes a volte face, supports Naveen decision to support NDA Prez candidate Ram Nath Kovind

After endorsing the decision of the chief minister, senior MP said the party president managed the situation from the beginning before any politics could make it complicated.

Published: 02nd July 2017 11:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2017 11:07 PM   |  A+A-

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: After raising questions over chief minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik's support to NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, leader of the party's parliamentary party Bhartruhari Mahatab has made a volte face on the issue by praising the party president for the decision.

In a signed editorial in July 1 edition of the local daily owned and edited by him, Mahatab said the chief minister has taken the right decision by extending support to Kovind. After endorsing the decision of the chief minister, senior MP said the party president managed the situation from the beginning before any politics could make it complicated.

Besides, to counter speculation over growing resentment in the BJD over the decision, Mahatab said those who would have opposed the chief minister's support to Kovind have accepted it fully. Mahatab further said by stating that the post of President is above party politics, the chief minister did not bargain like leaders of other political parties while announcing his decision to extend support to Kovind, nor did he oppose for the sake of opposition like Mamata Banerjee.

Drawing a parallel, Mahatab wrote AIDMK and Telengana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) have announced support to Kovind and added in both these states, Tamil Nadu and Telengana, Congress has no existence and BJP  organisation is active like Odisha. There is nothing to be worried about this, he said.

The BJD MP, however, maintained that the BJP has achieved many things in the guise of the Presidential polls. The Presidential poll has strengthened the BJP's dalit agenda and divided the opposition as many political parties not in the NDA have extended support to Kovind. This has not only ensured the win of BJP's Presidential candidate, it is a political victory of BJP.

The U-turn by Mahatab has surprised political observers even as the BJD welcomed the editorial. Government chief whip in the assembly and BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy described the change in Mahatab's opinion as timely.

"The earlier article by Mahatab had created confusion and some people were dreaming that there will be cross voting," Satpathy said and added that all BJD MPs and MLAs will vote for Kovind.

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