Presidential poll: BJD to send 2 Odisha ministers for Droupadi Murmu’s nomination

Congress leaders in Odisha said they will not support NDA’s presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu despite chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s appeal to all legislators in the state to vote for her
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik called NDA’s presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu as ‘daughter of Odisha’ (ANI File Photo)
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik called NDA’s presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu as ‘daughter of Odisha’ (ANI File Photo)
Updated on Jun 23, 2022 06:15 PM IST
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ByDebabrata Mohanty

After appealing to all the legislators of Odisha to vote for the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu calling her “daughter of the state”, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has sent two Biju Janata Dal (BJD) cabinet ministers to attend the nomination event scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Friday.

Patnaik, who is on a 10-day foreign tour, said he has sent minister for law, ST and SC development, minorities and backward class welfare, Jagannath Saraka, and minister for water resources, commerce and transport, Tukuni Sahu, to be present at the time of filing of nomination papers after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, JP Nadda, spoke to him about the nomination of Murmu. The Odisha unit of the BJP is sending its 10 MLAs to attend the nomination filing event.

The BJD was the first non-NDA party to extend its support to Murmu, who is all set to become the next President of India next month when the tenure of President Ramnath Kovind ends. The YSRCP of Andhra Pradsh has also welcomed Murmu’s candidature, making her election a certainty.

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However, Congress leaders in Odisha said they will not support Murmu despite Patnaik’s appeal. Congress legislative party leader, Narasingha Mishra, said no matter how good or well-behaved a person is and what he achieves, the Congress will never support the person who believes in the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or the BJP. “Even though she is a good politician and a good human being, she believes in the BJP ideology. So, the Congress will never support her. People of this ideology killed Mahatma Gandhi and we will never support such people,” he added.

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Mishra alleged that the BJP and the BJD are like two sides of a coin. He also alleged that chief minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and held consultations on nomination of the presidential candidate. This apart, the Congress has fielded its own candidate Yashwant Sinha for the presidential poll, so the state unit will extend support to him only, he said.

Murmu, meanwhile was given a rousing send-off at Biju Patnaik International Airport in the city as she left for New Delhi on Thursday to file her nomination papers. Tribal dance was performed and hundreds of her supporters greeted her at the airport.

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