Bhubaneswar: Salipur MLA Prakash Behera today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 elections.
The former Congress leader joined the saffron party in presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP’s national vice-president Baijayant Panda, party’s Odisha President Basant Panda and senior party leader KV Singhdeo in New Delhi.
“I have full faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Youths in my constituency are impressed with government’s step of surgical strikes,” Behera said after joining the BJP.
Talking to reporters, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Behera’s presence will help the BJP bring about change in Odisha under Modi’s leadership.
“Welcome his decision of joining BJP to fulfill the vision of a New Odisha under the leadership of Modiji,” he said.
Welcoming him in the party, Baijayant Panda said: “He will add strength to our party to win this prestigious Kendrapara parliamentary seat for the first time. I look forward to working with him for the development of the area.”
Salipur Assembly constituency of Cuttack district is part of Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Panda was elected on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ticket.
Behera, who was for the first time elected from Salipur in 2014 assembly polls, was a Congress member for the past 20 years.
He resigned from Congress on Saturday citing ‘humiliation’ by the party time and again. He tendered his resignation to the AICC President Rahul Gandhi alleging negligence towards him in the party.