Bhubaneswar: Former IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav, who was named as BJP candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha, would join the saffron party today.
Notably, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday announced Vaishnav’s name as one of the three candidates for the vacant Rajya Sabha seats and the other two candidates named were Amar Patnaik and Sasmit Patra, both spokesperson of the ruling party.
Interestingly, a few minutes later Patnaik told mediapersons that Vaishnav is a BJP candidate and the BJD would support him. He too informed that he had had discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national chief Amit Shah in that regard.
Now, a question has arisen in the political circle as to how and why the BJD, which has sufficient numbers of MLAs (112) to will all three RS seats, decided to back a candidate of the Opposition party (BJP) in the State.
Baishnab, a retired IAS officer, was a private secretary to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was also district Collector of Cuttack.