DHENKANAL: In a major setback to BJP that came a day after Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan accused the State government of misusing funds allotted by the Centre for farmers’ welfare from a meeting here, as many as 800 BJP workers led by former Dhenkanal municipality chairman Sudhansu Dalei joined the ruling BJD at the town hall on Sunday.
A staunch supporter of Pradhan for over 15 years, Dalei was in BJP for 16 years. He was elected chairman of Dhenkanal municipality in the last term before it was dissolved. Slamming the family politics prevalent in the district unit of the saffron party, Dalei accused its leaders of ignoring seniors.
He said the BJP leaders and workers were inspired by the popularity and principles of Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik and a stable government run by him in the State. Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik, senior BJD leader Pratap Deb, former Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Hindol legislator Simarani Nayak and other party leaders were present at the extended executive meeting of the party held at the town hall. Minister Mallik said many BJP councilors along with Dalei had evinced interest to join BJD since long.
Union Min’s effigy burnt
Dhenkanal: Alleging misuse of Ashok Chakra and the Tricolour during Krushak Samabesh held at the mini stadium here, BJD workers burnt the effigy of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday. A complaint was also lodged against several leaders of the saffron party with Dhenkanal Town police.