Another BJD MP quits party

Last Updated 20 March 2019, 12:42 IST

The dissident activities in ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha over the distribution of party tickets for the ensuing Lok Sabha and assembly elections came to the fore on Wednesday again with yet another sitting party MP resigning from the Naveen Patnaik led regional outfit.

Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh quit the party expressing dissatisfaction over the BJD high command’s decision to deny her a re-nomination to contest the coming polls. She was elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency. The regional outfit has announced to replace her with social activist and sitting Rajya Sabha member, Achyut Samanta.

Samanta who runs a deemed university, a private medical college and hospital beside a chain of tribal schools across the country with headquarters in Bhubaneswar had joined the BJD last year and was immediately offered a Rajya Sabha berth.

Singh is the third sitting BJD MP to resign from the party over the ticket distribution issue. Earlier, two others, Balabhadra Majhi and Arka Keshari Deo had quit the regional outfit. While Majhi who was a sitting MP from Nowrangpur in south Odisha has already joined the BJP, both Singh and Deo are expected to follow him to the saffron brigade shortly.

Deo who was elected from western Odisha Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency had joined the BJD on the eve of 2014 polls. In fact, his father, the late B K Deo was a senior BJP leader and was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from the politically important western constituency.

A sitting BJD MLA, Purnachandra Nayak also resigned from the party on Wednesday. Nayak who was elected from Daspalla assembly constituency in coastal Nayagarh district has been denied a ticket to contest the ensuing polls. Denial of party nomination has also prompted two more BJD MLAs to quit the regional outfit.

Party’s reaction to these developments has been on expected lines. “This type of activities take place on the eve of every assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It will have no impact on the party’s prospects in the coming polls”, BJD’s senior spokesperson, Pratap Deb said.

(Published 20 March 2019, 11:35 IST)

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