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Bijoy Mohapatra returns to BJP fold in Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra, who had resigned from the BJP four months ago, returned to the 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 and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, who met Mohapatra at his residence here.

Mohapatra, who had resigned from the party on November 30 last year, said he also had telephonic conversation with other senior leaders, including

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, said the aim of the party was to "remove" the government in Odisha and ensure another term for at the Centre.

Describing Mohapatra as a "seasoned politician", said the senior leader's re-entry into the BJP fold would boost the party's fight against the BJD in Odisha.

Mohapatra along with another BJP national member and former Union had resigned from the BJP on November 30 last claiming that they had been "sidelined" within the party.

Though Ray is yet to join any party, he had met BJD president and Chief recently.

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.

In the 2014 elections, Mohapatra had contested from seat in district on a BJP ticket and lost to BJDs Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.

The simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha are scheduled to be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

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

First Published: Thu, March 28 2019. 14:15 IST