RS deputy chairman election: BJD justifies its support for JD (U) candidate

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik announced support to NDA-backed JD(U) candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, the party in a press statement issued today justified its stand citing ideological similarities with JD(U).

“BJD has decided to support JD(U) since the JD(U) and BJD have similar ideological origins –emerging from the Jay Prakash Narayan movement,” the media statement pointed out.

Besides, BJD said Congress candidate BK Hariprasad, who was the AICC Odisha in-charge till recently was ‘vitriolic’ in his remarks against the ruling party and the State government, the statement said.

The ruling party said that it waited for parties to reach consensus on a candidate for the post of deputy chairman of the Upper House, instead of an election.

“BJD believes that constitutional posts like that of the Speaker and Deputy Chairman Chairman of the RajyaSabha should be decided on a consensus instead of elections. The party waited till the end for a consensus to emerge but it did not happen,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik said that BJD backed Singh fearing CBI probe into different scams.

“For the past four years, BJD has been hands in glove with the saffron party and this move was to save itself from an impending CBI probe,” Patnaik said adding that the recent move proves how the regional party is moving away from its ‘equidistant’ remark.