Pradhan hits back at Congress’ secret pact charge; calls it an open MoU

Bhubaneswar: Junking the Congress charge of having a secret pact between BJP – BJD over Rajya Sabha bypoll, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today categorically stated that there is no such  hush-hush deal, rather he termed it as an open understanding between the two parties.

“PM Modi had spoken to CM Naveen and asked support for Ashwini Vaishnaw. This has been done keeping in view the larger interests of the State. There is no secret pact, it’s an open understanding. Development of State is the sole motive,” asserted Pradhan.

Meanwhile, Congress, for whom it has come as a godsend, has upped the ante with veteran Narasingha Mishra today training his guns on the BJP.

“It is unfortunate that BJP has decided to send a non-odia to RS from Odisha. People of Odisha are ashamed of BJP’s conduct,” claimed Mishra.

He asked BJP to clarify whether Vaishnaw owns mining firms in State, and if he owns then there are charges against him or not. Why not BJP fielded Vaishnaw where it had the numbers, he asked.

On the other hand, veteran BJP leader Damodar Rout claimed that Vaishnaw has been advising CM Naveen for the last 5-7 years.

“In Delhi, Vaishnaw had arranged Naveen’s meetings with PM Modi and Union HM Amit Shah,” claimed Rout and retorted Narasingha’s charge by asking a counter poser, Didn’t he know Vaishnaw owns mining firms?

Former FM and veteran BJD leader Sashi Bhushan Behera derided at the attempts made by Congress leader Mishra to politicize the RS election. “Politicisation on constitutional posts is improper,” he added.

As per available data, after quitting IAS, Vaishnaw had worked as directors in many mining firms like Adler Industrial Services Private Ltd, Triveni Pellets Private Limited, Kanad Network Private Ltd and Brahmani Rivers Pellets Limited.