Balancing Act: BJD supports UPA’s VP candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi

Bhubaneswar, July 18: In an apparent attempt to assert its claim of
maintaining equidistance from the BJP and the Congress, the ruling Biju Janata
Dal (BJD) today extended its support for UPA’s Vice-Presidential candidate
Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik announced
that his party will support the candidature of Gandhi for the Vice-Presidential
Patnaik’s announcement came a day after BJP picked up M Venkaiah
Naidu as its nominee for the Vice-President election.
Notably, BJD has supported NDA’s presidential nominee Ram
Nath Kovind before UPA fielded Meira Kumar as its nominee. Meanwhile, Naidu,
the Urban Development Minister, filed his nomination today for the August 5
Patnaik had also come under severe criticism from the Congress
which questioned BJD’s “equal distance policy.” Senior Congress leader
and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra criticised Patnaik
for supporting NDA’s candidate for the presidential poll as soon as Prime
Minister Narendra Modi called him up.
Meanwhile, Mishra thanked Chief Minister and BJD president
Naveen Patnaik for supporting the UPA’s vice-presidential candidate Gopal
Krishna Gandhi.
Like in the case of President, the BJP’s Vice President
nominee enjoys a clear edge over the his opposition rival. 

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