BJD to back Gopal Gandhi for Vice President

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Bhubaneswar, July 18 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday declared that Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will support UPA-backed candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi in the vice presidential election.

“The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will support Shri Gopal Gandhi as the Vice President candidate,” Patnaik told reporters.

The United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal Governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, filed his nomination papers earlier in the day.

It was being speculated that the BJD might support National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Venkaiah Naidu as it had supported the ruling alliance’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind in presidential election.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Patnaik are believed to be close friends much before Patnaik entered politics.

The BJD has 28 member in Parliament and support of Independent member A.V. Swamy, who is Rajya Sabha member.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the BJD of having a tacit deal with the Congress.

“Naveen Patnaik has supported Gopalkrishna Gandhi, an anti-national, who signed the mercy plea of terror convict Yakub Memon. The support of BJD to a Congress candidate shows tacit deal between them,” said state BJP president Basanta Panda.

–IANS

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