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Balancing Act: BJD supports UPA's VP candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi

Bhubaneswar, July 18: In an apparent attempt to assert its claim of maintaining equidistance from the BJP and the Congress, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today extended its support for UPA’s Vice-Presidential candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik announced that his party will support the candidature of Gandhi for the Vice-Presidential election.

Patnaik’s announcement came a day after BJP picked up M Venkaiah Naidu as its nominee for the Vice-President election.

Notably, BJD has supported NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind before UPA fielded Meira Kumar as its nominee. Meanwhile, Naidu, the Urban Development Minister, filed his nomination today for the August 5 election.

Patnaik had also come under severe criticism from the Congress which questioned BJD's "equal distance policy." Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra criticised Patnaik for supporting NDA's candidate for the presidential poll as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him up.

Meanwhile, Mishra thanked Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik for supporting the UPA’s vice-presidential candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Like in the case of President, the BJP's Vice President nominee enjoys a clear edge over the his opposition rival. 

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