Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 17:
Though he is yet to join the party formally, former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang hogged the limelight on the second day of the two-day national executive meeting of BJP ST Morcha here today.
In a reflection of the importance the BJP is giving the nine-time MP from Koraput, the proceedings of the convention were temporarily halted when Gamang reached the venue and was ushered in to the stage in a grand welcome. This despite the fact that the meeting was also being attended by big guns of the party like Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das, Organisational Secretary of BJP Ramlal, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat along with Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.
Gamang, who resigned from the Congress on May 30, announced that he would formally join the BJP tomorrow.
“I have resigned from the Congress and will join BJP formally tomorrow. BJP has given me an opportunity to present my side through this convention and I will say whatever I have to. I am not seeking any positions.I am ready to take any responsibility they assign me. I have to be realistic in politics,” said Gamang before joining the convention.
Speaking on the occasion, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghuvar Das took a dig at Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik advising him to act like a servant of the people instead of a king.
“There is not a thing called government in Odisha. It is said that the Chief Minister does not meet anybody after 8 pm. He should serve the people like a servant not a king. But the Odisha Chief Minister behaves like a king instead of acting like a servant of the people,” said Das.
BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy was quick to react to Das’s outburst and advised him to exercise some restraint while making statements.
“Jharkhand Chief Minister Das’ statement is irresponsible. The chief minister of a state should not make such statements against another chief minister. Odisha is progressing well and all sections of society, including tribals and dalits, have supported it,” said BJD spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy.