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BJD poaches 10 student leaders of Odisha Congress

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 24:

As part of its efforts to hoist the BJD flag in Utkal University, which has been a fort of the Congress party so far, the ruling party today inducted 10 student leaders, including three former presidents, of the premier university of Odisha. The BJD believes the move would help dismantle the Congress fort and pave the way for its nominees into the saddle in the coming students’ union elections.

BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik with the newly inducted student leaders at Naveen Nivas
BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik with the newly inducted student leaders at Naveen Nivas

Three former students’ union presidents of Utkal University Chinmoy Sahoo, Prakash Kumar Tripathy and Tanmay Swain have joined the ruling party. Sahoo was also two-time president of Chhatra Congress while Tripathy was general secretary of the Youth Congress. Swain was national delegate of NSUI.

The other student leaders of Congress who joined the BJD today are Trilochan Behera, Satish Sharma, Pabitra Mohapatra, Mahabir Mohapatra, Bismay Stalin, Satyabrat Mohanty and Smrutiranjan Samal. Sharma was president of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT).

“They will be great assets for the party,” said BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik welcoming them into the party in his hackneyed, done to death style..

On their part, all the student leaders blamed the Congress leadership for their decision to join the ruling party.

“Congress party has betrayed us. PCC president Jaydev Jena has ignored us and promoted his family ignoring our work. Now, we will all work under the able leadership of Naveen Patnaik,” said Chinmoy Sahoo.

However, BJD sources said that Sahoo joined the party after he was promised that he would head a corporation, probably the Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation.

All the student leaders were active in the Congress party and have influence among the student communities in Utkal University and several other colleges.

The BJD-led Odisha government, which has been deferring the students’ union election in the varsity for the last two years, will definitely hold elections this year and try to win the election with the help of turncoats, sources said.