BHUBANESWAR: Two time MLA from Nuapada Basanta Panda was on Friday unanimously elected as the leader of BJP Legislature Party (BJPLP).
His election was announced by senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar after a meeting of BJPLP here.
Panda succeeds State president KV Singhdeo who was in- charge because of the delay in holding election to the post due to Javadekar’s busy schedule. The election was originally scheduled on June 11. “Panda’s name was proposed by Singhdeo and all the party MLAs present at the meeting supported his candidature,” Javadekar who was here to oversee the process told mediapersons. Odisha in-charge of BJP Arun Singh also attended the BJPLP meeting.
All the nine MLAs present at the meeting endorsed the name of Panda, he said and added that only Dilip Ray, MLA from Rourkela and a former Union minister, who was not present gave his approval over phone. Javadekar said Panda’s unanimous election as the BJPLP leader proved the party’s belief in democratic principles. Stating that BJP always encourages young and dynamic leaders and does not believe in dynastic politics unlike some political parties, Javadekar said the party is always guided by dynamism and that is why it is now ahead.
Referring to the party’s performance in Odisha in the last election, Javadekar said though the party won only one Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats, the party’s vote share increased by about 50 per cent compared to previous polls. Increase in BJP’s vote share sounds like a warning bell for the ruling BJD in Odisha as the difference between votes bagged by the two parties is not very huge, he said. Thanking partymen for his unanimous election as legislature party leader, Panda said BJP MLAs would sincerely highlight the problems being faced by people belonging to all sections in the Assembly and try to get them solved.