File photo: Prakash Javadekar Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar made it clear that although the BJD supported the NDA candidate in the election for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman's post earlier this week, there is no alliance between the BJP and the regional party.
"BJD and many other political parties supported BJP during Rajya Sabha deputy chairman election, but there is no alliance and they are not part of the NDA," Javadekar told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Ruling NDA candidate and JD(U) member Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on August 9, securing 125 votes as against 105 polled by opposition candidate B K Hariprasad.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was responding to questions on the issue of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supporting the NDA candidate in the recent election which has triggered a row with the Congress and others attacking the regional party.
The critics have flayed the BJD's action as it was against its claim about maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress.
Javadekar, who reached in Bhubaneswar on Sunday on a three-day visit to the state, is scheduled to attend a party meeting in Berhampur today.
Taking a swipe at the Congress for attacking the BJD for its role in the election, Javadekar said if one fails to get something, it is like sour grapes.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan sought to play "Odia card" to counter the allegations of the Congress on Rajya Sabha deputy chairman polls and tried to push the ball to the BJD's court.
In an oblique reference to the BJD, Pradhan said someone from Odisha could have been elected for the post and sought to know why none from the state was projected for the post.
He said those who are making noises now over the issue, should have taken the initiative in this regard.
The Union minister said that for the last 40 years, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman post had been with the Congress and NDA was keen to get it.
Reacting sharply to Pradhan's remark, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the BJP leader's comments are misleading as there was never any discussion on fielding a candidate from Odisha for the post.
He said such remarks from Pradhan is nothing but a sign of his disappointment and frustration.
On his part, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik took a dig at Pradhan and said while the petroleum minister attacks the BJD government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah speak to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the phone.