Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik in a masterstroke move urged all the members of the state assembly to unanimously support Draupadi Murmu as the presidential candidate as she is the “daughter of Odisha”. The Congress in Odisha on Thursday said it will not support NDA candidate Murmu in the presidential election, claiming that it believes in the ideology of the BJP and the RSS.
Acting on the instructions of CM Patnaik, two cabinet ministers from Odisha signed the nomination papers of NDA presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu in New Delhi on Thursday.
Water Resources, Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu and Law Minister Jagannath Sarkar have signed the nomination papers of Murmu, who will be present during the filing of nominations on Friday. This direction from Patnaik came after discussions with BJP President JP Nadda.
The state BJP welcomed the move and thanked CM Naveen Patnaik for the suggestion.
BJD vice-president Devi Prasad Mishra said that Prime Minister Modi briefed Naveen Patnaik. “CM has always emphasized on women empowerment.
CM Patnaik has supported the NDA’s decision and appealed to everyone to extend their support to Draupadi Murmu. The party’s stand is very clear. The interest of the state is the topmost priority for the BJD. CM Patnaik takes the right decision on any national issue at the right time.
Sundargarh BJP MLA Kusum Tete said it was a “proud moment” for the tribals of the state. “It is a proud moment for us. NDA has given priority to tribal woman in electing Murmu to the country’s highest constitutional post. Thanks to CM Patnaik for extending support and appealing to all to support Darupadi. I am a I am particularly happy as a tribal woman and proud to be her proponent,” Tete said.
Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narsingh Mishra said, “We will not support her candidature as she believes in the ideology of RSS and BJP. People of this ideology killed Mahatma Gandhi and Congress will never support it.
The CLP leader said that he knew Murmu personally and his equation was also good, but the party could not support him. The Congress has nine MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly and the state has one Lok Sabha MP.
Mishra termed Patnaik’s appeal to all Odisha MLAs to support Murmu as a “gimmick”. Claiming that BJP and BJD are two sides of the same coin, Mishra said, “If the chief minister has so much love for Odisha and Oriya, why did he send a non-Odia in Rajya Sabha? Were there no eligible Odia candidates?” He was referring to BJD’s support to BJP candidate Ashwini Vaishnav, a former Odisha cadre IAS officer, in the 2019 Rajya Sabha elections.
Earlier in the day, Murmu reached Delhi a day before filing nominations for the post.