Bhubaneswar: A day after announcing his support to the NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik, on Tuesday, said his party BJD would continue to maintain its fight against the Central negligence.
“The NDA candidate is distinguished Scheduled Caste person. In the last presidential elections, the BJP had supported our candidate PA Sangma,” the chief minister said.
Patnaik’s statement came after journalists drew his attention to an editorial article by his party Lok Sabha MP Tathagat Satpathy in which the lawmaker said the BJD’s support will have adverse impact on the morale of the party workers who have been fighting against the saffron party on Mahanadi water and other issues.
Reacting to the chief minister’s remark, senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in Odisha Legislative Assembly Narasingha Mishra said the CM had no other option than supporting the NDA candidate.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has no courage to say ‘no’ to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As soon as he got a call from the PM seeking his support for Ram Nath Kovind, he immediately said ‘yes,’ Mishra observed, adding the BJD chief’s often made remark that his party maintained a distance from the BJP was all but a hoax.
“The chief minister is taking the plea that his party supported Ram Nath Kovind as he is Dalit person. If the NDA rival group fields another Dalit as presidential candidate, what stand he will take?” asked Mishra.