New Delhi:19/9/18: Tribal leader and Biramitrapur MLA George Tirkey and five members of the Mahanadi Banchao Andolan, including its convener Sudarsan Das, officially joined Congress in presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The four other members of the Mahanadi Banchao Andolan, who joined the Congress, are human rights activist Manoj Jena, Lalit Patnaik, Nirad Khuntia and Basudev Bhatt.
Reliable sources said that Tirkey is likely to be the Congress candidate for Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency in 2019.
A tribal, Tirkey is an MLA from Biramitrapur in Sundargarh district. He joined the party in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and its Odisha unit chief Niranjan Patnaik.
“Tirkey is a senior tribal leader… I strongly believe that Odisha Congress will be strengthened by their joining the party,” said Patnaik.
The Congress is likely to field Tirkey, a four-time MLA, from Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency in 2019. However, the PCC President said the party will take a decision at the appropriate time.
In 2004, Tirkey had unsuccessfully fought the Sundargarh seat as an Independent.
Currently, Sundargarh is represented by senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.
Tirkey said he will work to defeat the “corrupt” government led by Naveen Patnaik and the “communal” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
George had won the Biramitrapur Assembly segment in 1995 and 2000 on a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ticket. Later, he got elected from Biramitrapur as an Independent lawmaker in 2009 and 2014. (IANS)