Former IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav nominated as BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha by-elections

BJP state president Basanta Panda welcoming Ashwini Vaishnav to the party in Bhubaneswar on June 22.

BHUBANESWAR: Former IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav, who has been nominated BJP’s candidate for Rajya Sabha by-elections from Odisha, joined the saffron party here on Saturday in the presence of party’s state unit president Basanta Panda and other senior leaders.

“BJP has given me a chance to serve the people of Odisha. I thank the party for choosing me as its candidate for the by-poll to the Upper House of the Parliament. I will work for the development of the state,” said the former bureaucrat after formally joining the BJP.

Responding to a query, Panda said the BJP will continue its fight for the interest of the state. “We will not compromise if anybody works against the interest of the state. However, we will always welcome support from like-minded people and political party if it is well intended and for the benefit of Odisha,” he added.

Bhubaneswar MP and former bureaucrat Aparajita Sarangi tweeted, “Ashwini is a very dear friend and IAS batchmate of mine. I am delighted to have him in the BJP. I heartily welcome him and wish him all the best. Looking forward to working with him closely.”