Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD extended its support to the candidature of BJP nominee for Rajya Sabha bypoll, Ashwini Vaishnaw, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra today accused the ruling party of being hand in glove with the saffron party.

Mishra said that the support shown by BJD for the national party is an insult to the people of Odisha.

"The rumours of secret pact between BJD and BJP has turned out to be true because the numbers with which BJD has majority in the State Assembly, it would not have faced any problem in fielding three candidates to Rajya Sabha but despite that the ruling party supported BJP.  Even the CM has also admitted that he got a call from the PM and Home Minister," said Mishra.

Congress Media Cell chief Satya Prakash Naik too hit out at the BJP and BJD and said, "This has exposed the deep-rooted unholy nexus between BJD and BJP. People of Odisha want to know what was the deal behind 'seat for support'."

Responding on the issue, senior BJP leader Dama Rout, however, said that both the parties chose Vaishnaw for mutual gains.

"By announcing constructive support to BJP candidate Ashwini Vaishnaw, CM Naveen Patnaik forgot his equidistance policy. He was chosen as RS candidate for mutual gains of both the parties," Rout said.

Rubbishing any pacts between both the parties, Odisha BJP president Basant Panda said, "BJP will continue to work for the development of Odisha and its 4.5 crore residents; the party won't strike any deal with any other party."

On the other hand, welcoming the decision, Odisha Health Minister Naba Das said, "CM Naveen always takes decision in favour of the people of Odisha so I welcome whatever decision he has taken."