×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Expelled BJD leader in Odisha joins BJP ahead of LS polls, assembly elections

Immediately after joining the saffron party in the presence of its state chief Manmohan Samal, Panigrahi vowed to oust the BJD from power.
Last Updated 21 February 2024, 16:08 IST

Bhubaneswar: Four years after he was expelled from the BJD, Gopalpur MLA and former Odisha minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi on Wednesday joined the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha and state assembly polls.

Immediately after joining the saffron party in the presence of its state chief Manmohan Samal, Panigrahi vowed to oust the BJD from power.

He also termed the government headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as 'arrogant' and 'autocratic', an allegation the ruling party denied.

Panigrahi, a critic of bureaucrat-turned-BJD leader VK Pandian, was expelled from the ruling party in 2020 for being involved in 'anti-people activities'.

The three-time lawmaker from Gopalpur in Ganjam district had earlier served as a higher education minister in the state government.

Samal welcomed Panigrahi to the BJP and said the former state minister would strengthen the party in Ganjam.

"The BJP will emerge stronger in Ganjam and neighbouring districts with his entry to the party," he said.

Senior BJD leader Ramesh Chandra Chayupatnaik claimed that Panigrah joining the saffron camp will have 'no impact on the Ganjam district politics'.

Panigrahi also said, "Development work across various sectors taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has infused faith in people and time is ripe for a change of government in Odisha to save democracy."

The Gopalpur MLA said that the chief minister had earlier got the support of the BJP and later snapped ties with the party in 2009.

Later in the day, BJD spokesperson Ipsita Sahoo claimed that the 'real face of the BJP has come to the fore with the Panigrahi's induction to the party'.

"He was expelled from the BJD for anti-people activities. He was involved in cheating job aspirants and was sent to jail," Sahoo said.

Pangirahi, however, rejected all the allegations made by the BJD spokesperson and said the charges were 'politically motivated'.

ADVERTISEMENT
(Published 21 February 2024, 16:08 IST)

Follow us on

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT