BHUBANESWAR: In a boost to the ruling BJD ahead of 2019 Assembly elections, former deputy leader of Congress Legislature Party Chakradhar Paika joined the party on Thursday.Paika arrived at Naveen Nivas with his supporters where he joined the regional party in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“I was with Biju Babu’s Utkal Bharat party in 1974 and elected as an MLA on the party ticket. Since I am in the last phase of my political career, I am willing to serve the people of Mohana as a BJD member,” Paika told mediapersons.
Asked about contesting the Assembly elections, Paika said his party will take a decision in this regard. “I have joined the BJD without any condition. I will take up whatever responsibility the party bestows on me,” he pointed out.
Paika, however, said he had left the Congress in 2014 after the party denied him a ticket to contest the Assembly elections. Paika was elected to the State Assembly from Ramgiri constituency in 1974 as a candidate of Utkal Bharat party.
Later in 2009, he was elected from Mohana constituency as a Congress candidate. Since the Congress did not give him the ticket in 2014 Assembly elections, he contested from Mohana as an independent and lost the election.
Ganjam district BJD president and former minister Pradip Panigrahy, BJD Lok Sabha member Siddhanta Mohapatra, former MP Chandrasekhar Sahu, former minister Bhupinder Singh and senior leaders of the district were present.