Kendrapara, March 28 (LocalWire): In a dramatic turn of events, former minister and senior leader Bijay Mohapatra made a comeback to the saffron fold today. He had resigned from the BJP only four months back and his re-entry days before the twin elections in the state evoked mixed reaction from within the party as well as other parties.
Ganesh Samal, a BJP zilla parishad member from Patkura said, ‘Mohapatra has taken the right decision to return to the party. He is a popular leader in Kendrapada district as he did many developmental works when he was a minister under the former chief minister Biju Patnaik. BJP will definitely benefit by his entry.’
Srikant Panda, a BJD leader from Kendrapara said, ‘Bijay is an arrogant person. He will definitely be a liability for the BJP. He has no base in the district and suffered humiliating defeat in the three successive elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014. Naveen Patnaik denied him the party ticket to contest from Patkura in 2000. Bijay is a power hungry man and re-joined the BJP after BJD did not allow him to join the party.’
Senior BJD leader and former minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, who defeated Bijay Mohapatra in 2004 and 2014 from Mahakalapada Assembly segment, said, ‘The electorate of Mahakalapada and Patkura defeated Bijay thrice. In the coming election too, people will not choose him.’
Kalpana Mallick, a BJP leader from Kendrapara town said, ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has soared after the airstrikes on purported terror camps in Pakistan and Bijay chose the right time to re-join the BJP. With Baijayant Panda and Bijay both joining the BJP in Kendrapara, the party base has become stronger and Baijayant will make a hat-trick by winning the Lok Sabha seat.’
‘BJP supporters are jubilant after Bijay re-joined the party,’ said Baidyanath Chaterjee, a senior BJP leader from Kendrapada.
Senior Congress leader and former chairman of Kendrapara municipality, Akbar Ali said, ‘Bijay has become a laughing stock here for re-joining the BJP. It was only a few months back that he had attacked the state and the Central BJP leaders for their step-motherly attitude over Mahanadi but now, he has conceded before them for power.’