Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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5-Time Odisha MLA Arabinda Dhali Quits Naveen Patnaik’s Party, Joins BJP

5-Time Odisha MLA Quits Naveen Patnaik's Party, Joins BJP

BJD claimed that Arabinda Dhali joining the BJP will have no impact on it.


Five-time Odisha MLA Arabinda Dhali and retired IAS officer Hrusikesh Panda joined the BJP on Sunday.

Former BJD MLA Mukunda Sodi, retired Air Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik, former joint secretary in Rajya Sabha Ramakanta Das, and BJD’s Digapahandi block chairman Bipin Pradhan also joined the BJP.

Arabinda Dhali, who resigned from the ruling BJD on Saturday, went to the BJP office in Bhubaneswar along with his supporters in a procession, and formally joined the party in the presence of its state president Manmohan Samal and MP Aparajita Sarangi, among others.

Addressing the press, Arabinda Dhali alleged that there was no democracy within the BJD and senior leaders were being neglected.

“After feeling suffocated, I left the BJD and joined the BJP, which has internal democracy,” he said.

Arabinda Dhali, the MLA of Jaydev in Khorda district, claimed that the BJP will form the next government in the state by winning more than 100 of the assembly’s 147 seats.

He was first elected to the assembly from the Malkangiri seat in a by-election in 1992 on a BJP ticket. He retained the seat for two more terms.

He then joined the BJD, and was elected to the assembly from Jayadev in 2009. He also won the 2019 election from the seat.

A law graduate, he served as a minister in the BJD-BJP coalition government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He held portfolios such as Cooperation (2000-2004), and Textiles and Handloom (2000-2002), besides Commerce and Transport (2002-2004).

Hrusikesh Panda, the topper of the 1979 batch, is also a well-known fiction writer.

The BJD claimed that Arabinda Dhali joining the BJP will have no impact on it.

“Ahead of elections, it is normal for many political leaders to switch from one party to another. The leaders, whose winning chances are very low and are aware that the party is not going to give them nominations, are leaving the BJD,” senior BJD leader Raj Kishore Das said.

BJD spokesperson Swayam Prakash Mahapatra said the BJP was welcoming leaders from the BJD as it has failed to create new leaders.

“The BJD leaders, who would not get nominations this time or are involved in serious crimes, have been invited by the BJP. The BJP did the same thing in 2019, and the result is known to all. The BJP is making the same mistake,” he claimed.

Recently, expelled BJD MLAs Pradeep Panigrahy and Prashant Jagdev also joined the BJP. Former Minister Debasis Nayak of the BJD also switched sides. Another expelled BJD leader Rajendra Das, a former MLA, and Telkoi MLA Premanand Nayak, who has resigned from the BJD, is also likely to join the BJP soon. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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