BHUBANESWAR: As the debate over the effect of BJD’s support to NDA’s candidate for Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha continues, a large number of leaders from Congress and BJP in Koraput district joined the regional outfit here on Sunday.
Most of the Congress and BJP workers who joined BJD at the Naveen Nivas here in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were from Kotpad Assembly constituency of undivided district. As Koraput district is a stronghold of the Congress and Kotpad has a sitting Congress MLA, the development has given a jolt to the party which is positioning itself as the only Opposition political party in Odisha.
The development has also come as a dampener for the BJP which is trying to improve its position in the tribal-dominated Koraput district. Welcoming all public representatives and workers of Congress and BJP who joined BJD, the Chief Minister said they will help strengthen BJD’s organisation in Odisha.
Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Chandra Sarathi Behera said many Sarpanchs, Panchayat Samiti members, Ward members and senior local leaders joined BJD impressed with the people-oriented developmental projects undertaken by the Chief Minister. Party observer and former minister Pranab Prakash Dash, Nabarangpur BJD MP Balabhadra Majhi, Koraput district president of BJD Ishwar Panigrahi and several senior leaders were present.