BJP President Amit Shah had stressed that party needs to be strengthened in eastern parts of India. His main focus was on Odisha and West Bengal. In recent months BJP indeed has made inroads in Odisha. Political observers say that this could well be due to rising popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And reflecting this trend is that even the ruling BJD party is feeling the pinch. Yesterday, prominent tribal leader and former BJD MP Jayram Pangi had joined the BJP. This came after he was suspended from the ruling BJD for “anti-party activities.”
Following the joining, BJD MP Baijayant Panda tweeting, “One gone yesterday, another today. Yet when I cautioned last week, was contradicted. Now a large section unrepresented, resent everywhere.” Panda was taking dig at BJD leader Amar Nayak of Badachana area in Jajpur district who joined the BJP yesterday and Pangi.
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While BJD leaders tried to downplay the joining, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram said that Pangi’s joining will boost the BJP organisation in tribal dominated areas especially Koraput. Pangi along with his supporters were welcomed into the BJP by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the BJP state headquarters.
Meanwhile, Pangi and Amar Nayak’s joining is not something new. According to reports, resentment is brewing among BJD MLAs over non-representation of around 12 districts in Naveen Patnaik’s council of ministers. Several legislators, who were eyeing berths during the recent reshuffle, have openly expressed their dissatisfaction. At least six MLAs have so far come to the fore expressing their dissatisfaction over the manner in which a large number of districts were “ignored” while choosing new ministers, the PTI report says.
According to PTI reports, BJD MLA from Sambalpur Raseswari Panigrahi and Dibya Shankar Mishra from Kalahandi district, Mangala Kissan from Sundergarh district, Padmanav Behera from Subarnapur district and Debashish Nayak, Pramila Mallick and Amar Prasad Satpathy from Jajpur district have gone on record to express discontent over the ministry reshuffle.
BJP is also leaving no stome unturned in its effort to add muscle to its presence in the state as earlier it had held its two-day national executive meeting in Bhubaneswar. It was attended by PM Modi, Shah and other senior leaders.