Odisha SunTimes Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 8:
In a clear indication of the Congress fast losing its base among tribals in Odisha, several Congressmen from Nabarangpur district quit the party and joined the ruling BJD in the presence of BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Nivas here today.
Among them are former people’s representatives and representative of the former Congress MP.
They said they have joined the BJD after being influenced by the immense popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the BJD government’s welfare programmes for the people of the state.
“Many Congress leaders of Nabarangpur Assembly constituency, among them Khagapati Jani, zilla parishad member, Rajani Ranjan Das, block chairman, Sadashiva Sahu, MP’s representative, Dharmendra Bisoi, ex-sarpanch, Trinath Bhatia, MP’s representative and Anusaya Patra, block president mahila wing, with their supporters have joined the Biju Janata Dal,” said BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik briefing reporters at Naveen Nivas today.
“In the coming days, it will be a clean sweep for the BJD there and the Congress will be wiped out in the area as the leaders who joined the BJD today were top Congress leaders and had kept the Congress flag aloft there,” said Manohar Randhari, BJD MLA from Nabarangpur speaking to reporters.
“The Rupee one a kilo rice and other welfare schemes of Naveen Patnaik’s BJD government for the poor has influenced us. The Congress had no such programmes. Our MLA Manohar Randhari has been working hard for the welfare of the poor people. He is even not sleeping in the night when it comes to people’s welfare. Influenced by Naveen Patnaik’s ideology and our MLA’s sincerity, we have joined the BJD,” said Sadasiv Sahu, a former zilla parishad member.
Former Congress MP Pradip Majhi admitted that these people were in the Congress since the days of late Habibullah Khan. But he said they had quit the party since the Congress is not in power.
“We will work hard for strengthening the party with the induction of young men into it,” said the former Congress MP from Nabarangpur.