Jay Panda is BJP vice president

Baijayant 'jay' Panda.

The BJP on Friday appointed Baijayant 'Jay' Panda, who joined the party earlier this week, as its national vice president and spokesperson.

Party chief Amit Shah's decision to give the post to the Odiya leader, who quit the BJD nine months ago, is seen as a sign that the BJP considers Panda important.

Being an articulate leader, sources said, Shah also wanted to use Panda's communication skills to defend the party in an election season and that is why he was also given the charge of being the party's official spokesperson.

The BJP also believes that the recognition it gives to Panda, who also owns an Odisha-based media network, will also translate positively for the party in the state where it is battling the ruling BJD-led by Naveen Patnaik.

On Monday, Panda had joined the BJP and targeted the BJD for the "sharp deterioration" in the state's governance under Patnaik.

Panda had then said that there is a need for change in Odisha and only the BJP is capable of bringing it.

Panda, who resigned from Lok Sabha, left the BJD after he was suspended from the party over allegations of "anti-party" activities.

The BJD also claimed that Panda was involved in money laundering, a charge denied by Panda.

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Jay Panda is BJP vice president

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