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BJD's to support Ashwini Vaishnaw for RS seat

The BJD’s decision to support Vaishnaw came up just a couple of minutes after the BJP nominated him for the Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha on Wednesday.

BJDs to support Ashwini Vaishnaw for RS seat

BHUBANESWAR: The ruling Biju Janata Dal’s unconditional support to the candidature of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for Rajya Sabha elections has again brought to the fore the strange and unique relationship between the ruling BJD and the main opposition BJP.

The BJD’s decision to support Vaishnaw came up just a couple of minutes after the BJP nominated him for the Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha on Wednesday.

Vaishnaw, a former IAS officer of Odisha cadre, was also elected to the upper house of parliament for the first time in June 2019 with the support of BJD.

As per the political analysts, Vaishnaw plays a major role as a bridge between both BJP and BJD due to his camaraderie with the leaders of both the parties at center and state.

Both the parties have also benefited much by sticking to the principle of cooperative federalism.

BJD which claims of maintaining equidistant from both BJP and Congress has often helped the saffron party in the parliament for the smooth passage of many controversial bills.

Similarly, the Patnaik-led government manages to fetch a larger allocation of funds for Odisha ensuring a significant economic growth for the state during the last decade.

Conspicuously, the BJD government by offering unwavering support to the BJP at center successfully gets rid of the central probe agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation, etc, even though several allegations of corruption were raised against the state BJD government, such as the mining scam, chit fund scam.

Though the BJP leaders in the state as well as other senior leaders during their visits to Odisha attack the Naveen Patnaik-led government over corruption, law and order issues, yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Saha have always refrained from targeting Patnaik.

Moreover, PM Modi during his recent visit to the state addressed Chief Minister Patnaik as ‘my mitra (friend) Shriman Naveen Patnaik ji’ during a programme at IIM-Sambalpur on February 3.

The Chief Minister Patnaik too responded by praising PM Modi for the significant economic progress of the country under his regime.

Many experts claimed that the common BJP party workers at the ground in the state got demoralised with the support of party Rajya Sabha candidate Vaishnaw and PM Modi’s silence on Naveen-led government’s policies ahead of the general elections, 2024. The experts said the state will witness a friendly fight between BJD and BJP in the coming elections.

“While the elections are round the corner and BJP is considered as the prime opposition party in the state, it is interesting to watch how people are reacting to the relationship between both the parties. The BJD and BJP will have a friendly fight during the elections in 2024,” said veteran journalist Rabi Das.

This bonhomie has also fueled the speculations about a possible alliance between both the parties. Analysts asserted that BJD and BJP may strike a post-poll alliance if the former registers a dismal performance in the upcoming general elections to the state assembly.

This apart, the opposition Congress which is trying to get back its foothold in the state will apparently use this as an opportunity to pose itself as the real alternative of ruling BJD in the coming elections. The local Congress leaders have even arranged a sarcastic marriage between BJP and BJD symbolising the tacit relationship between both the parties in the state a few months back.

The Congress Odisha in-charge, Ajoy Kumar on Wednesday targeted both the parties following BJD’s announcement of support to Vaishnaw’s candidature.

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

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