Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda Rebel Biju, former Janata Dal (BJD) leader who had quit the party last year reportedly after rifts with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday. "Nine months of introspection & widespread consultations w/colleagues & public.Grateful for support recd from all over.On auspicious #MahaShivratri I've decided to join @BJP4India & work under the leadership of @narendramodi Ji to serve Odisha & India to the best of my ability," Panda tweeted on Monday.
Nine months of introspection & widespread consultations w/colleagues & public.— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) March 4, 2019
Grateful for support recd from all over.
On auspicious #MahaShivratri I've decided to join @BJP4India & work under the leadership of @narendramodi Ji to serve Odisha & India to the best of my ability🙏
Panda, a former BJD MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Panda, one of the prominent Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders, had quit the party in May 2018 following a long-standing rift with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the chief of the BJD. In a three-page letter written to Patnaik, who is also the chief of BJD, Panda had said, “It’s with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended.”
Delhi: Former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Jay Panda joins BJP in presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan pic.twitter.com/MKH7bX64z5— ANI (@ANI) March 4, 2019
“With the BJD and you yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right to disassociate from it,” the 55-year-old leader said.
Delhi: Former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Jay Panda who joined BJP earlier today meets party president Amit Shah. pic.twitter.com/rGbRZuSzDC— ANI (@ANI) March 4, 2019
Panda’s decision to quit the party had come days after the party suspended his primary membership on accusations of “conflict of interest” and “anti-party activities” aimed at weakening BJD in Odisha. Panda’s father Bansidhar Panda shared a very close relationship with former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik, the father of current Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.