Himansu Shekhar Rout

Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) re-nominated Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, party’s state unit president Manmohan Samal met Gopalpur MLA & former BJD leader, Pradeep Panigrahi. 

Though the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has announced its support to Vaishnaw’s candidature for the Upper House, Samal’s meeting with Panigrahi is said to be for seeking the Gopalpur legislator's support amid severe criticism from the Congress. Vaishnaw will file his nomination for the RS tomorrow.     

Panigrahi, who has all along been spewing venom against the BJD and its leaders, lashed out at the ruling party while speaking to media after meeting Samal. 

Emerging after the meeting with Samal, Gopalpur MLA, Pradeep Panigrahi said using symbolism that people should give a chance to orange (referring to the BJP) after having seen performance of green(BJD) and white (Congress). 

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Panigrahi, who has been expelled from the party some years back on the grounds of ‘anti-people activities,’ obliquely targeted the BJD, observing, ”Opinion of the people is most powerful in a democracy and once they decide to do anything, nothing, be it the threat of the administration and money power, will work against it.”

As for the BJD’s support to Vaishnaw, the Gopalpur MLA said that the BJD has no alternative option but to support his RS nomination. “The BJD is scared of the ED and CBI crackdown. Ahead of any action, the BJD leaders have submitted themselves in advance. Action speaks louder than words. They are saying: Do not do anything to us. We have surrendered ourselves,” he added.