In yet another blow to Congress in Odisha, former Assembly Speaker Sarat Kar and OPCC secretary Alekh Choudhury on Saturday joined ruling Biju Janata Dal.
Kar, who joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had resigned from Congress on March 12 accusing the party leadership of neglecting and ignoring senior leaders in the organisation.
Kar, who was the Speaker of Odisha Assembly, had previously quit the ruling Biju Janata Dal on April 3, 2004 after being denied party ticket for the Assembly polls from Mahanga in Cuttack district.
“It is homecoming for me. I am not interested in contesting polls,” Kar told reporters while Patnaik said his return to BJD will strengthen the party.
Similarly, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Alekh Choudhury of Ganjam district also joined the BJD ahead of the polls. He too made similar allegation of negligence by the Congress state leadership towards the real party workers.
Meanwhile, Congress’s youth leader and grandson of former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, Suparno Satpathy said he quit the party and joined Ama Odisha Party (AOP).
Also, BJD leader Prasanna Patnaik and his wife Nalini Patnaik have returned to BJP. Patnaik was the first MLA of BJP in Odisha, elected from Kamakshya Nagar Assembly constituency in 1985.
Senior BJP leader B B Harichandan welcomed the former Kamakshya Nagar MLA. “Patnaik’s return will strengthen BJP in Dhenkanal district,” Harichandan said.
Party gives them 48 hours to respond.