Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik today announced his party’s support to NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh for the post of Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
The announcement came hours after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke to his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik for the second time this morning regarding Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman’s election.
On September 10, Nitish had talked to Patnaik seeking BJD’s support for the Janata Dal (United) candidate in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman’s election. The JD(U) Supremo had informed that his party’s Rajya Sabha MP Harivansh Narayan Singh has filed nomination as the NDA candidate for the post of Deputy Chairperson in the poll.
In the year 2018, Odisha’s ruling BJD had backed the NDA nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh – the JD(U) MP – in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman’s poll following telephonic talk between party supremo Naveen and Bihar CM Nitish.
However, the regional party was under fire from the opposition for voting in favour of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate.
The BJD in its clarification had said that the party supported the JD(U) due to ‘ideological similarities’, but it will continue to maintain equi-distance from the BJP and Congress.
Harivansh Narayan Singh was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the JD(U) from Bihar in 2014 for a period of six-year term. On August 8, 2018, he was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Upper House of Indian Parliament.