Old Friend Or NDA

“Mr Gopalkrisnha Gandhi is an old and valuable friend of mine, know him even before I joined politics.”

This was the statement of Odisha Chief Minister and the Governing BJD President Naveen Patnaik barely five years ago when Mr.Gandhi came calling on his old friend.
Even Mr.Gandhi is also a friend of Mr.Patnaik’s elder sister Gita Mehta.
However, Naveen is in a fix after Congress led opposition parties announced name of Mr.Gandhi as the Vice-Presidential candidate.
 The fact that Mr.Gandhi's credentials allowed him to be a unanimous choice in the opposition camp.
And even Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar pledged his support for him, though he earlier extended his support for Mr.Kovind as Presendential candidate.
Even Nobel laureate and renowned Public Intellectual, Amartya Sen  went ahead in saying that that Mr.Gandhi would have been a much better and inspiring pick as the opposition's nominee for the President's post.
Secondly, in choosing Mr.Gandhi, for Vice President post, who not only is the grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi,  comes with prominent credentials with having previously served as the Governor of West Bengal, and also as High Commissioner to the South Africa and Sri Lanka.
He was also in the coveted Indian Administrative Service(IAS) and has also served as a Secretary to the President of India.
Even though he was chosen as Governor he was considered an apolitical figure that does not mince words when it comes to airing his concerns no matter which party they are aimed at.

And Mr.Gandhi is not from the realm of politics, is seen as a neutral and highly respected, and could enjoy support from beyond political lines.

However, after pledging his support to NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind for Presidential elections, Mr.Patnaik finds it difficult whom to support,Mr.Gandhi or the NDA candidate for the Vice-President post.
If Mr.Patnaik pledges his support to Gopalkrishna, then it will pit him against the NDA.
Given Naveen’s rapport with Gopalkrishna, experts believe that it will be a tough decision for him.
“Friendship and Politics are on different tracks. Party president Naveen will take a final call after discussing with all the senior members of the party. There is no dilemma here,” said BJD Spokesperson Sameer Dash.
Meanwhile, NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to visit Odisha on 14 July to garner support.
Mr.Kovind and Mr.Patnaik will address BJD Lawmakers jointly and the former Governor of Bihar will have luncheon at Naveen Niwas.
However, he will be meeting the BJP leaders separately, for which BJP Legislative Party Leader K V Singh Deo has organized a tea party, said sources.

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