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Odisha Cong MLA hints at joining BJD ahead of Rahul's visit

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

In what could be a major loss for the in Odisha, the party's working has indicated that he may join the ruling BJD on January 24, a day before Rahul Gandhi's visit to the state.

"My supporters have urged me to fight the 2019 elections on a BJD ticket and I will do what my people want," the MLA told reporters on the sidelines of a public meeting at Samasingha on Sunday.

"My supporters and electorates want me to fight the next elections on the BJD's poll symbol, the conch," Das added.

He said the BJD and is scheduled to visit to inaugurate a hospital on January 24.

"I will welcome the and may accept the wish of the people of my constituency there," Das said.

He said he respected Gandhi and Odisha Pradesh Committee (OPCC) president and there was no specific reason for his decision to quit the

Patnaik said Das quitting the Congress will not affect the party's prospects.

"It is sad to learn that somebody is quitting our party. It will not affect the poll prospects of the Congress," he said.

"Das has not spoken to me in this regard. I learnt about it from the media," he added.

of OPCC disciplinary committee and former said though Das had only indicated that he may join the BJD, he should think it through.

"It is his decision. No one can stop him. He should think whether he should quit the party at this juncture when the Congress is being accepted by the people in many states," Biswal said.

Das is a popular in district.

He has defeated BJD candidates twice -- in 2009 and 2014 assembly elections. He is also credited with ensuring Congress victory during 2017 zila parishad elections.

In March last year, Das praised Chief Minister at a function in his constituency.

He had said that Jharsuguda had witnessed considerable development due to the chief minister's untiring efforts.

Kishore Mohnaty, who was defeated by Das twice, said Das cannot be trusted since he keeps changing his opinion every hour.

"I do not know whether he is joining our party. But, we, as disciplined soldiers of the party, will abide by what our party supremo decides," he said.

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

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 16:55 IST