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Former BJP leader Dilip Ray meets Patnaik, may re-join

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Dilip Ray, who resigned from the BJP last year, met ruling president and Naveen Patnaik, sparking speculation that he may re-join the regional party.

According to sources, Ray reached Naveen Niwas, Patnaik's residence, on Saturday evening, and held an hour-long discussion with the

Other senior leaders were also present during the meeting, they said.

Ray, of the BJD, was ousted from the party following differences of opinion with in early 2000.

He had subsequently joined the BJP.

Ray was elected to Assembly from Rourkela assembly segment in 2014, as a BJP candidate, and had played a vital role in the victory of party's Sundergarh Lok Sabha candidate Jual Oram, who later became a in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet.

Ray is believed to be a staunch loyalist of former Minister Biju

Ray and another veteran non-Bijay Mohapatra had resigned from the BJP last year, alleging that they were ignored by the state party leadership in

A number of senior BJD leaders, including MPs, have favoured Ray's re-entry into the ruling party.

However, there was no word from on whether Ray and would join the regional party.

The sources said both the leaders may join the BJD on Sunday.

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

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 16:10 IST