Odisha Congress fumes as BJD, BJP concur on National Register of Citizens

Bhubaneswar: With the BJP and the BJD finding a common ground on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue, the Congress in Odisha seems to be visibly flustered.

Congress alleged that it is a deviation of BJD from its oft-cited ‘equidistance’ policy as far as political alliances go.

Congress Leader and Opposition party chief whip, Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged there has always been a covert relationship between the ruling BJD and BJP. “As many leaders and MLAs of BJD are involved in the chit fund scam in the State, the ruling party is cooperating with the saffron party fearing action by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” Bahinipati added.

The way BJP national president Amit Shah praised BJD MP Prasanna Acharya, it indirectly shows some internal understanding between the saffron party and the BJD, Bahinipati said.

“Naveen’s statements that the BJD is equidistant from BJP and Congress are a blatant lie,” he added.

Responding to Congress’ allegations Acharya said that his party will stick to its ‘equidistant’ policy.

“If the national political parties indulge in vote-bank politics, it is very unfortunate for the country. Be it BJP or Congress, our stand is clear that we will not take sides. We will only stand by the interests of people of Odisha as well as the country,” Acharya added.

He again emphatically said no one should be allowed to do politics on an issue of national interest.

Meanwhile, political analyst, K. Ravi said the statement of Acharya in the Upper House shows its pro-NDA stance.

Odisha BJP vice president, Samir Mohanty commenting on the matter said “Acharya’s statement is acceptable and our party welcomes his decision. We praised him for the speech on NRC in the Parliament. Congress indulges only in vote bank politics.”

Similarly, saffron party’s national secretary Suresh Pujari, while welcoming BJD’s stance on NRC issue ruled out any alliance.

“BJD’s support to BJP on the NRC is a welcome step,” said Pujari adding that “The wounds of 2009-alliance are still fresh and BJD is not worthy of being an enemy let alone a friend.”