Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 30:
Senior Odisha Congress leader and former Keonjhar MP Madhab Sardar today joined Biju Janata Dal along with his supporters.
Sardar, along with his supporters and Rural Development Minister Badri Narayan Patra, today called on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence and announced the decision.
“A number of leaders from Keonjhar district have joined the BJD today. They are mostly from the Congress party. They are Debashsis Padhy, Madhab Sardar, former sarpanch Patrana Sethi, Binayak Rao, Tapan Kumar Sethi, Prasanna Kumar Sethi and several others,” said Chief Minister Patnaik.
“I have been inspired by the strong leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his people friendly policies to develop the state. I joined the party today to work towards making Keonjhar a developed place,” said Sardar.
Upon further grilling, however, he spilled the beans and said, “I had been working for Congress since 1992. Of late I had been finding it difficult to adjust with the leadership. Besides, I felt that my suggestions are not needed by the party anymore. Under these circumstances, I took the call to join BJD”.
Coming as it does — only two days after BJD councillors voted out its chairperson in Keonjhar Municipality, the latest acquisition from Congress is seen as a saving grace. Opposition party, however, appeared to be taken aback by the sudden blow.
While one former PCC President Jayadev Jena tried to put up a brave face, another PCC President Niranjan Patnaik was vocal about the loss. Interestingly, both Jena and Patnaik are closely associated with the politics of the district.
“We are all working cohesively to revive the fortunes of the party in the district. There would be no effect if BJD takes away Madhab Sardar. It is just a face saving measure they have taken,” said Jena.
“Madhab Sardar had been a disciplined soldier of Congress and a very nice person. He had been elected an MP and had contested MLA polls too. Even though I am not sure why he left, his departure will certainly hurt the party prospects,” said Niranjan Patnaik.