New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, March 15 (LocalWire): Soon after joining BJP, former BJD leader Damodar Rout hailed the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said his sole aim now is to unseat the “corrupt” Naveen Patnaik-led government in Odisha.
Rout claimed that unlike past Odia leaders, who were ready to make extreme sacrifices for the people, the current politicians are greedy and deeply corrupt.
“Biju babu had once sold his ‘kotha’ for the people, but the present leaders are dipped in corruption,” he said after joining the saffron party at its headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.
Rout was expelled from BJD in September last year after he brought a slew of corruption allegations against the ruling state government.
“I have been in politics for 45 years. Was I involved in corruption, or handed a notice by CBI? If you all think I am a senior leader, why was I thrown out of the party?” he asked.
The induction ceremony was attended by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, national vice-president Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, among others.
Welcoming Rout into the party fold, Pradhan described him as “a loyalist who follows the ideologies of legendry leader Biju babu.”
Panda in a tweet said: “Welcome to BJP Dr. Damodar Rout! Your decades with Biju uncle & long yrs in his cabinet & also his son’s, did not aid you against harassment when you exposed corruption at highest levels last yr & were expelled from BJD. Look fwd to working together for Odisha’s revival.”
Asked if his son Sambit Routray will join BJD, after reports that he may be considered for the Paradip seat, Rout said he has no idea, but he will fight tooth and nail against Naveen Patnaik
“How would I know what he wants? The only thing I know is, capable or incapable, I will fight and ensure that Naveen Patnaik fails to form government this time,” said Rout.