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Odisha politics: BJD veteran joins Congress ahead of polls


Bolangir: In what could be seen as a jolt to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a senior party leader and former Loisingha MLA today joined Congress.

Ramakanta Seth joined the Grand Old party at the Jagaran Samabesh held at Bolangir Koshala Kala Mandap field in the presence of OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and other senior party leaders.

The 68-year-old bachelor politician was elected to the Assembly in 2009 on a reserved seat. However in 2014, BJD fielded Jogendra Behera from the constituency replacing Seth. Behera defeated his nearest rival from Congress Pandaba Chandra Kumbhar by a huge margin.

Congress veteran and legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra, former MP Bhakta Charan Das, AICC Secretary Shaik Mastan Vali, former PCC president Sarat Patnaik, senior party leaders Kishore Patel and Santosh Singh Saluja among others were present during the programme where massive crowd turned up.

The party reiterated its poll promise of waiving farm loan and increasing MSP of paddy besides pension to farmers and employment to youth in the state.

“The anti-farmer policies of BJP and BJD have destroyed the agri sector of Odisha. The Congress govt. in Odisha will ensure that our annadatas get their proper due,” Niranjan Patnaik said while addressing the huge gathering of farmers.