BHUBANESWAR: Senior leader and former minister Raghunath Mohanty on Tuesday joined the BJP along with his son Rajashree and daughter-in-law Barsa Swony. A five-time MLA from Basta, Mohanty is likely to be the BJP candidate for Basta Assembly seat under Balasore Parliamentary constituency.
“I will work to strengthen BJP and bring a change in the Government in the State which is long overdue,” Mohanty said after joining the saffron party in presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and national vice president Baijayant Panda.
Mohanty is a good catch for BJP which has been struggling to find a suitable candidate for Assembly seat. The saffron party is yet to name candidates for four Assembly seats including Basta.Mohanty’s induction will add strength to BJP which managed to win one seat each in the last two elections from Balasore district having eight Assembly segments. The BJP candidates from Basta had not been able to keep their security deposits in 2009 and 2014 elections.
The senior leader had hinted of quitting BJD by resigning from the post of chairman of Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation on Saturday. Sensing that the BJD leadership is not in a mood to give him party ticket in this election, Mohanty resigned from the party on Sunday.
Mohanty was denied BJD ticket in 2014 Assembly polls though he had represented Basta seat for five consecutive terms since 1990. He was, however, reinstated in BJD as vice-president in March, 2018.
After resigning from the regional outfit, Mohanty accused the BJD leadership of straying from the founding principles of the party due to conspiracy hatched by some persons in BJD. He was a founding member of the BJD.
Another BJP candidate joins ruling outfit
Bhubaneswar: The BJP received a jolt on Tuesday when its candidate from Kakatpur Assembly seat joined the ruling regional outfit in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Nivas here. The BJP had repeated Tusharkanti Behera in Kakatpur from where he unsuccessfully contested the 2014 elections. However, the ruling BJD has already announced sitting MLA Surendra Sethi as its candidate from the constituency. Bhagirathi Sethi had also resigned from BJP after he was allotted party ticket for Anandapur Assembly seat. He later joined the ruling BJD, which fielded him from the same Assembly constituency.