BJP nominates Vaishnaw for RS from Odisha; BJD announces support

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 14 (IANS) The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday announced its support for Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s candidature for the Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha. The BJD’s announcement came hours after the BJP nominated Vaishnaw from the state for the Rajya Sabha.

“Biju Janata Dal will support the candidature of Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister, Railways, Communication and Information and Technology for the larger interest of the state’s railways and telecom development in the ensuing election to the Rajya Sabha, 2024,” BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on Wednesday.

It is pertinent to mention that CM Patnaik had announced his party’s support to Vaishnaw in 2019 as well, following requests by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Vaishnaw’s term in Rajya Sabha is ending in April this year.

Meanwhile, Vaishnaw, who reached Bhubaneswar on Wednesday on a two-day visit to Odisha is scheduled to file his nomination on Thursday.

The BJP had instructed all of its MLAs to reach Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

Responding to his selection Vaishnaw said, “I am a disciplined worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party and it is the party which takes all the decisions regarding my public life. I am grateful to PM Modi and the party leadership for giving me another opportunity to serve.”

BJD leader Munna Khan on the other hand ruled out any possibility of an alliance between the BJP and BJD in the state. He said the BJD would fight the elections on its own and form the government.

Meanwhile, the Congress Odisha incharge, Ajoy Kumar targeted both the parties saying that the BJD always backed the BJP.

“Now the Odias understand why the CBI and ED never conducted a raid on the CM and his close aide Mr Pandian even though the state witnessed ‘massive scams’,” posted Kumar on his X account.



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