Patnaik initially said the party will nominate Ashwini Baishnab, a former IAS officer from Odisha who was private secretary to Atal Behari Vajpayee when he was Prime Minister. Patnaik said Baishnab was someone who “served Odisha very well”.
Assembly elections results: Has Chandrababu Naidu been able to counter anti-incumbency in Andhra Pradesh; Will Naveen Patnaik return for a fifth term in Odisha; Will Sikkim's Pawan Chamling continue his streak as the longest serving CM, and in Arunachal, what challenges face chief minister Pema Khandu
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan released a video, claiming the alleged attacks against party workers indicate the CM is worried about an impending loss in 2019. Pradhan promised to bring a “Goonda Act” in Odisha if the BJP comes to power.
CEO Surendra Kumar did not respond to calls for comment on the BJD allegation. BJP leader Pratap Sarangi, however, said: “They (BJD) are desperate and know they will be defeated. That is why they are attacking the CEO Odisha.”
"I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of the BJD as I felt ignored, neglected and cheated. I presumed the party no more requires me," Majhi, who represents Nabarangpur (ST) Lok Sabha seat, said in Bhubaneswar.
Hitting out at the BJP-led government at the Centre, senior BJD leaders including party general secretary Sanjay Dasburma accused the Centre of 'having failed' to fulfil the promise of granting special category state status to Odisha.
Singh's entry into the ruling BJD coincided with the visit of Congress President Rahul Gandhi to Odisha to address rallies at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district and Rourkela in Sundrgarh district on Wednesday.