New Delhi:4/3/19: : Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, who was expelled from BJD nine months back, has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party office in New Delhi on Monday. Panda joined the BJP in presence of Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram, party’s Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, BJP state president Basant Panda and other senior leaders of the saffron party.After joining the national party, the former Kendrapara MP met party’s national president Amit Shah. Welcoming Jay Panda to the party, Pradhan took to Twitter and wrote: “I welcome my friend, Shri Baijayant Jay Panda into the BJP family. His popularity and connect with the Odia youth will further strengthen the surge of BJP in Odisha.”
Panda had resigned from Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal in May last year four months after he was suspended from the primary membership of the party for “anti-party” activities.
He was suspended by BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik in January last year for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities.
After quitting the BJD, Panda on June 12 had tendered his resignation as the Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha.
Commenting on Jay Panda’s decision to join the saffron party, BJD spokesperson Arun Sahoo said “It was his personal decision to join the party. Only future will tell how far the step is justified.”
All India Congress Committee Secretary Sarat Rout said, “There was a lack of political maturity in BJP which is why members of the national party wanted Jay Panda to join them.”