BHUBANESWAR: Ending suspense over his next political move, expelled BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.
“After a lot of thinking, I joined the BJP. I was inspired by the hard work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I will work sincerely for the BJP to oust the corrupt Naveen Patnaik Government,” Rout said after joining the saffron party.
The seven-time MLA and minister in the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet in all the four terms from 2000 was expelled from the BJD in September last year after raising a slew of corruption issues against the State Government.
Coming down heavily on the Chief Minister, Rout, sitting MLA from Paradip, said he was inspired by the ideology of late Biju Patnaik and worked with him for over 20 years. But his son is completely opposite.
Alleging that the Chief Minister has no love for the people of Odisha, Rout said the BJD Government is totally corrupt. As he tried to stop it, he was thrown away from the party, he added.
Welcoming Rout to the party, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the former’s experience will strengthen the BJP in Odisha. “Looking forward to work together to realise the dream of a New Odisha,” he tweeted. Rout joined the saffron party in presence of Pradhan, party national vice-president Baijayant Panda, Odisha in-charge Arun Singh and BJP legislative party leader KV Singh Deo. Later, he was greeted by BJP national president Amit Shah.