In a blow to Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, former party MP Hema Gamang, wife of former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang on Saturday joined BJD.
“I have sent my resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. I quit the party because of OPCC chief Jaydev Jena’s attitude towards senior leaders,” she told reporters after meeting BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik here. Alleging that she was humiliated and insulted by the OPCC chief, Hema said, “I am interested in contesting from Koraput seat.”
Congress has already named her husband as its candidate from Koraput. He had won the seat eight times in a row between 1972 and 1998. Asked whether she would contest against her husband, Hema retorted, “Don’t ask me about family matters. I just want to fight the polls.”
BJD sitting MP Jayram Pangi from Koraput Lok Sabha seat, who accompanied Hema to Naveen Niwas, said, “Her joining will
strengthen BJD in Koraput.”
Hema was first elected to Lok Sabha from Koraput in 1999 when her husband became chief minister. She was re-nominated by Congress to seek re-election in 2004. She was also elected to the Assembly in 2009 from Gunupur.