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Defections in Odisha pick up ahead of elections

IANS  |  Bhubaneswar 

Leaders switching loyalties ahead of simultaneous and Assembly elections in have been proving a a major for political parties.

The state is witnessing an increasing rate of defections with politicians jumping to and from one party to another.

The defection has gained momentum as the three major political parties -- the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the and the -- are busy giving finishing touches to their final lists of candidates.

While the ruling BJD is attracting leaders from the opposition parties, BJD leaders who are unlikely to get party ticket are taking a plunge into the saffron pond.

The BJP is making serious efforts to dethrone the in the state.

Sensing denial of ticket, quit the BJD on March 14 and joined the BJP at its party headquarters in on Saturday.

said Majhi's decision to join the BJP and reposing faith in the transformative governance of will further strengthen the party in Odisha, especially in the tribal-dominated areas of the state.

BJD's Nilgiri MLA Sukanta Nayak on Friday resigned from the primary membership of the party.

Prakash Chandra Behera, a MLA from Salepur constituency in the district, resigned from the party on Saturday. He is likely to join the BJP soon.

Earlier, expelled BJD leaders and joined the BJP.

At the same time, former and senior Hemananda Biswal's daughter Sunita Biswal, BJP's 2014 MLA candidate from Nilagairi Sushama Biswal, Pradeep Disari of the Congress and BJP from Khurda Jitu Mitra have joined the BJD.

The BJD on Saturday inducted Harischandra Panda, nephew of

"Uncle (Basanta Panda) is working for the party, not for the area. The BJP leadership is acting like an autocrat. That's why I am quitting the party", said the junior Panda.

Earlier, Congress MLAs and joined the regional party.

On the other hand, former MLA Jagneswar Babu and former have joined the Congress.

will vote in the simultaneous (21 seats) and Assembly (147 seats) polls in four phases, beginning April 11.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 19:38 IST