Reported By Santosh Jagdev:
Bhubaneswar, Jan 3:
Barely three days ahead of BJP national president Amit Shah’s two-day visit to Odisha, independent candidate and Jatni Municipality chairperson Sangram Keshari Routray, along with seven of his councillors, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a formal induction function held at the party office here today.
The councillors who joined the BJP are Chinmayee Samantara, Annapurna Das, Rahima Bibi, Soumendra Kumar Patnaik, Biranchi Narayan Sethi, Susant Sahoo and Santosh Sahoo. Earlier, they were members of Jay Jatani—an independent political party floated by Sangram. Besides, 40 other supporters of Routray also joined the saffron party.
This apart, Anupama Dehury, a Congress councillor from Jatni Municipality, and two former army personnel– retired Colonel RK Patnaik and retired Lt Colonel Jayaram Tripathy, both from Nayagarh – also joined the BJP today.
‘‘I resigned from Congress as it did not support my cause before fighting for chairperson post for Jatni Municipality as independent candidate. I and my supporters are inspired by the good governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party’s campaign for ‘Maha Sangram’ against all corruptions in the state,’’ Routray said soon after joining the BJP.
“I will work for the development of the party with utmost dedication,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that Sangram, chairman of Jatni Municipality, who joined BJP today, was interested in Congress ticket from Jatni seat. But after denial of ticket, he ensured that the Congress candidate and his uncle Suresh Routray was defeated in the last Assembly elections.
State unit BJP President Kanak Vardan Singhdeo said, “Our party welcomes Routray and his team into the party. There is great interest among people of Odisha to join the BJP as they are inspired by the leadership of Narendra Modi. Our membership drive will continue till we achieve a target of 40 lakh in the state.”
Among other leaders, Pruthviraj Harichandan, Sudipto Ray, Sajjan Sharma and party’s star campaigner Pinky Pradhan welcomed the new inductees.
Kanak Vardan Singhdeo on Friday had said many leaders from other parties are set to join the BJP during and after Shah’s visit.
“Several leaders have contacted us and expressed their desire to join the party,” he had said. Asked if some of those who have left the party are likely to return, he had said those interested to come back are all from other parties.