Kendrapara, April 10 (LocalWire): The BJD suffered a major setback in Kendrapara as many of its leaders resigned from the party and joined the BJP today.
The newly appointed BJD state general secretary and chairman of Derabishi block, Sarojkant Sahoo along with 12 sarpanchs and 10 panchayat samiti members and other BJD leaders joined the BJP before the BJP national Vice president and Kendrapara Lok Sabha candidate Baijayant Panda and former minister and BJP candidate from Patkura, Bijay Mohapatra.
After joining the BJP, Sarojkant Sahoo and a bete noire of the sitting Patkura MLA and BJD candidate Bedaprakash Agrawala said, ‘We urged Naveen Patnaik to give the party ticket to anyone from Patkura other than the 84-year-old Bedaprakash Agrawala who is bed-ridden. But Agarwala managed to get the BJD ticket by paying huge money to the party coffers.’
He also added, ‘There is no internal democracy in BJD. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has soared in the country and we took the right decision to join the BJP. Baijayant Panda is a popular leader in Kendrapara as he did many developmental works and is sure to make a hat-trick in the coming Lok Sabha polls.’
Sahoo was also confident of Bijaya Mohapatra defeating his opponent Agrawala as the octogenarian has not done any good work in Patkura.
‘BJP workers in the district are elated after Sahoo and other BJD leaders joined the saffron party as it will strengthenthe party, said Mohapatra.
Srikanta Panda the president of Kendrapara town BJD committee said, ‘The voters of Kendrapada will not vote to any BJP candidate.
Sahoo and others who joined the BJP have no base in Kendrapada. In the last Assembly poll, Mohapatra was defeated by Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak from Mahakalapada Assembly seat.
In the coming election Mohapatra is contesting against Agarwala who had defeated him in 2009 from Patkura.
Baijayant Panda was twice elected as the BJD candidate but was suspended from the party for hobnobbing with the BJP.
In the last Parliamentary elections, the Kendrapara BJP candidate lost his deposit and Panda will also taste heavy defeat.’
Senior BJP leader and former Kendrapada MLA, Utkal Keshari Parida along with many of his supporters joined the BJD on Sunday after BJP denied him party ticket to contest from Patkura.