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Jay Panda, former Naveen Patnaik aide and BJD's Lok Sabha member, joins BJP

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 14 March 2019, 05:34 PM
Jay Panda, former BJD leader, joins BJP (Photo Source: PTI)
Jay Panda, former BJD leader, joins BJP (Photo Source: PTI)

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. 

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.”

“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.

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.

First Published: Monday, March 04, 2019 05:57 PM
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