Bhubaneswar: Hours after Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik extended his party’s support to UPA’s Vice Presidential candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi, BJP lashed out at him for supporting a ‘traitor.’
“Prime Minister had requested opposition leaders, including Chief Minister Patnaik, to support Venkaiah ji. But he took his own political decision. If he feels good supporting one who signed the mercy petition of Yakub Memon, we don’t have any objection,” said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
BJP State President Basant Panda too raised apprehensions on the choice of BJD.
“He (Gandhi) had questioned the hanging of terrorist Yakub Memon. He is a traitor. BJD’s support to the UPA’s candidate shows their hidden nexus,” Panda said.
Naveen Patnaik is said to be close to Gopal Gandhi since long. His sister Geeta Mehta is also a friend of Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Gopal Gandhi reiterated in a statement that he was against death penalty.
“Death penalty is from medieval ages and is wrong. I am inspired by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. BR Ambedkar,” he said.