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Naveen finally takes Hema on board

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Mar 16 :

After keeping Hema Gamang, the former Congress MP and wife of former chief minister Giridhar Gamang waiting for well over 24 hours, the Biju Janata Dal ( BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik today finally admitted her to the party.

He, however, did not make any reference to the much-talked about ticket to her for the Koraput parliamentary seat.

Patnaik made the announcement at his residence this evening.Hema Gamang

Incidentally the BJD had remained non-committal about accepting her into the party, despite her  statement on Saturday that she has joined the BJD.

Earlier in the day, the BJD vice-president Kalpataru Das had told media persons that Hema had approached the BJD on her own and that while the party was considering her application, no decision had been taken.

The BJD MP from Koraput Jayaram Pangi had also told reporters that Ms Gamang had only applied for a membership”.

Interestingly, Naveen Patnaik had avoided posing  before the cameras  with either Hema Gamang or party MP Jayaram Pangi- who had escorted her to Naveen Niwas- on Saturday- an obvious departure from his practice ever since the influx of outsiders into the party began.

Sources said, the announcement to take her in was deliberately delayed by Naveen Patnaik as a matter of public gesturing and to show that he was not keen on taking her on board.

“The chief minister was worried about possible criticism for indulging in a nasty political game and pitting a wife against her husband and secondly  the lady antagonised the strong anti-Pangi group within the Koraput BJD  by accompanying Jayaram Pangi to Naveen Niwas on  Saturday,” a senior leader of the party said, adding, “now we can say she insisted on joining the party and we could not say no.”

It is still not clear whether Naveen Patnaik will offer her the party ticket for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat or not. Going by the deliberate delay over admitting her to the party, it is possible that she will not be favoured with the ticket for Koraput parliamentary seat. There are reports that the party leaders feel giving a ticket to her may not go down well with the people/

If that happens, Hema will have reasons to regret her decision to  join the ruling party.