The Odisha unit of the Congress on Thursday said that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supported the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson's post in fear of a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam.The party also said that this move strengthens the ongoing rumour of seat sharing discussions between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the BJD."BJD supporting the NDA candidate for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election isn't surprising at all, that's what allies are supposed to do. It's a deal to stop CBI from exposing BJD's misdeeds," said Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik.Its claim of maintaining equal distance from the Congress and the BJP will be judged by the people, said Patnaik.Notably, the NDA-supported candidate, Harivansh Narayan Singh, is a JD(U) MP.
The BJD explained that it decided to support the JD(U) candidate since the JD(U) and the BJD have similar ideological origins, emerging from the Jayprakash Narayan movement.It said that in the highest traditions of a parliamentary democracy, constitutional posts like that of the Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha should be decided by a consensus instead of elections.Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Harivansh Narayan Singh on being elected as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on Thursday."A socialist leader from the same village as legendary Jayaprakash Narayan and former newspaper editor and author, I am sure he will discharge his duties according to the highest parliamentary tradition," said the Chief Minister.