Veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra, who had resigned from the BJP four months ago, returned to the saffron party on Thursday.
The 68-year-old stalwart said his move to come back to the BJP followed a detailed discussion with the party's national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, who met Mohapatra at his residence here.
The development comes ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha.
"As elections are approaching, we have decided to intensify our campaign and fight unitedly to bring about a change in Odisha by defeating the BJD and to build a new India," Mohapatra said.
Asked whether he would contest the polls, Mohapatra said the the party will take a decision on the matter.
"The priority at present is to further strengthen the organisation to oust the BJD from power in the state," he said.
Expressing happiness over Mohapatra staging a comeback to the BJP, Arun Singh said the aim of the party was to "remove" the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha and ensure another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre.
The resignation of the two leaders from the BJP had sparked speculation that they might stage a comeback to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), of which both were founding members. While Mohapatra was expelled from the BJD in 2000, Roy was thrown out from the ruling party two years later.
The simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha are scheduled to be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
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