Himansu Shekhar Rout

Political circles in Odisha are now abuzz with speculation that Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is most likely to contest from the Cuttack Lok Sabha seat, even as he visited Baba Dhabaneswar peetha in Athagarh, offered prayers and sought the blessings of Baba Dhabaleswar.

As for the ongoing speculation, the Union Minister said, “I am a disciplined member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I carry out whatever task is assigned to me by the party.”

“All of you know, my party sent me to Madhya Pradesh a few days ago. I did what I was asked to do there,” he said while tactically evading the question.

However, he did not completely rule out the possibility that he would be fielded in the Cuttack parliamentary seat. A few weeks ago, it was earlier being speculated that Vaishnaw might throw his hat into the ring in the Balsore parliamentary segment which is now represented by Pratap Sarangi.         

Also read: Odisha to get Vande Metro Train soon, says Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

When the Union Minister arrived as Baba Dhabaleswar peetha, he was accorded a grand welcome by the priests who apprised him of the need for the re-development of the age-old shrine. He discussed with all the priests and assured them to turn the Temple into a tourist destination for devotees.

He stated that he was blessed to get the opportunity of having darshan of Baba Dhabaleswar. 

After his temple visit, Vaishnaw left for Athgarh, Badamba, and Narsinghpur.