Senior Odisha leader and MP Baijayant Jay Panda has announced his decision to quit the Biju Janata Dal. Conveying his decision to party chief Naveen Pattanaik, Panda said that he wants to move on from the politics into which his party has descended. “It’s with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended,” he wrote in the letter. Panda also wrote that he will formally convey his decision to the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Hours before announcing his decision, Panda shared a number of pictures of social networking site Facebook and said that it was former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik who pulled him into politics. “Memories… My parents with Biju uncle; my siblings and i helping to lay the foundation of one of the many dreams they shared; and me as a young corporate executive in the mid 1990s (trying to look older!) whom the grand old man started involving in political activities,” Panda captioned a set of images.
In January, Panda was suspended from the primary membership of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the charges of anti-party activities. The party had alleged that Panda did not campaign for party candidates in the last panchayat polls and indulged in anti-party activities by supporting the Opposition candidates.
At the time of Panda’s suspension, party vice-president Surya Narayan Patro had said Panda has been directly or indirectly indulging in activities aimed at weakening the BJD whether in Parliament or in the State. Patro said that his decision was taken after his party leadership refused to nominate him for chairmanship of Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Finance.
Panda had expressed shock at the decision taken by the party. “*I’m shocked at this news *Very very sad @Naveen_Odisha didn’t see thru the conspiracy agnst me led by an IAS ofcr now controlling th party *I vehemently deny the allegations agnst me, they are entirely false & baseless *I will pray to Jagannath for guidance b4 i respond further (sic)” Panda had tweeted at the time of suspension.