Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 29:
The BJP received a huge shot in the arm ahead of the Kandhamal Lok Sabha bypoll in Odisha when Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti leader Lambodhar Kanhar joined the party at its state headquarters here today. About 200 of his supporters also joined the party along with Kanhar, party sources said.
Kanhar is the secretary of the coordination committee of the Kui Samaj, a powerful tribal organization in Kandhamal district that has a large support base in the communally volatile district and has the potential to influence the outcome of the poll on October 15 significantly.
Kanhar was arrested by police in October 2012 for allegedly beating up and injuring at least 30 candidates, who had come to the district headquarters town of Phlbani for certificate verification for recruitment as siksha sahayaks.
Kanhar and his associates had driven away the job seekers hailing from outside Kandhamal while demanding that the posts be reserved for the candidates from the district. He was supported by Pana dalits and Kandha tribals, who are rivals of each other, for his stand that class III and class IV government posts should be reserved for candidates from local people.