Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal and its youth wing, the Biju Yuva Janata Dal, on Tuesday protested Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the post of the President of India.
The BJD condemned Mukherjee for holding an office of profit as Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute at the time of filing his nomination papers and his subsequent resignation in back date to steer clear the validity of his candidature.
The BJD, which first projected PA Sangma as the candidate for the top post of the country, also defended its supremo Naveen Patnaik's allegation that Mukherjee as the Finance Minister had dolled out huge financial packages to three States — UP, Bihar and West Bengal — on the eve of his candidature keeping an eye on his election.
"It is unbecoming on the part of the Congress as well as the former Union Finance Minister (Mukherjee) to dole out the packages to the three States just before the Presidential election," said two senior BJD vice-presidents, Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai and Health Minister Prasanna Acharya.
Questioning the role of Mukherjee and the Congress in both the cases, they lamented that the Congress being a national party has destroyed national integration and a balanced development of the country.
"It is just like purchasing of votes, and the move has vitiated the process of the Presidential election," they said. They alleged that since the BJD is not supporting his candidature, Mukherjee did not give any financial package or special grant to a backward State like Odisha. The BYJD led by its president Sanjay Dasburma organised a protest rally at the Lower PMG on Tuesday condemning the role of Mukherjee in tendering his resignation from the ISI and the acceptance of the resignation letter in back date at the instance of Union Minister Srikant Jena.