Meanwhile, former Dhenkanal MLA Nabin Nanda, who was suspended from from BJD in July last year, joined the Congress on Wednesday.
A BJD MP and an MLA have resigned from the ruling party in Odisha after being denied party tickets for the upcoming simultaneous polls in the state taking the number of departees to six so far – three MPs and an equal number of MLAs. Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh and Dasapalla MLA Purna Chandra Nayak Wednesday resigned from the primary membership of BJD alleging “neglect”, party sources said. The two leaders separately sent their resignation letters to Biju Janata Dal president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stating that they were ignored and neglected in the party, the sources said.
The three MPs and three MLAs have resigned from the regional party, which is in power in the state since 2000, either prior to or after announcement of the candidates list for the upcoming Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls. Singh was the third BJD MP who have so far resigned from the BJD. The first to quit the party was Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi, who did so prior to Patnaik denying him ticket. Patnaik has named Odisha minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi as the BJD candidate for Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat.
Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari Deo, who has also been denied party ticket and replaced by Pushpendra Singhdeo, had sent his resignation letter to Patnaik on Tuesday. “A party that has been so vocal about women empoerment has failed me miserably. My hard work and dedication have been rendered futile,” Singh stated in her letter to the BJD president and added that she was the first women to be elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha sesat.
The Kandhamal MP also alleged that Odisha minister B K Arukha and senior MLA Arun Kumar Sahoo had created problems for her in working as an MP. Singh had said on Wednesday that she would think of resigning from the party if she was not given a party ticket to contest from Nayagarh assembly seat. However, she resigned before Patnaik made any announcement for the seat. The BJD had on Monday replaced Singh with Rajya Sabha MP Achyuta Samanta.
BJD’s Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda had resigned from the party about a year ago following a difference of opinion between him and Patnaik. He joined the BJP a few days ago. BJD’s sitting MLA from Dasapalla Purna Chandra Nayak sent his resignation to Patnaik after being denied a party ticket for the upcoming assembly elections. Patnaik has named Ramesh Behera as the BJD candidate from Daspalla assembly seat under Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency.
Earlier, BJD’s Nilgiri MLA Sukant Kumar Nayak had resigned from the party after induction of BJP leader Sushma Biswal in it ahead of the elections. Former BJD MLA K Narayan Rao, who was denied ticket this time from Paralakhemundi assembly seat, Wednesday joined BJP after resigning from the regional party. Patnaik had named Kalyani Gajapati as the BJD candidate from the Paralakhemundi seat, which is under Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, former Dhenkanal MLA Nabin Nanda, who was suspended from from BJD in July last year, joined the Congress on Wednesday.