Baijayant Panda Joins BJP

**Bhubaneswar: ** Former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, today formally joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at New Delhi.

He joined at the saffron party’s national headquarters in New Delhi in presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Odisha BJP president Basant Panda, Odisha BJP Legislature Party leader K.V. Singhdeo and BJP Odisha-in-charge Arun Singh.

Briefing mediapersons at the BJP headquarters, Panda said that joining BJP was due for him, which took 22 years. “I accept the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president of BJP Amit Shah.”

Senior BJD leader and minister Pratap Kumar Jena commented, “Baijayant Panda in his statement today made it crystal clear that he had been in facto in BJP for the last 22 years despite being in BJD and elected as its MP. That’s why he used to conspire against BJD and its leader Hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.”

Jay Panda was initially suspended from BJD last year for his alleged ‘anti-party’ activities and later he quit the party. He had resigned from Odisha’s ruling BJD on May 28 last year (2018) four months after being suspended from the primary membership of the party.

Later on, he also tendered his resignation from the Lok Sabha as Odisha’s Kendrapara MP. He had submitted his resignation with Lok Sabha Speaker on June 12, 2018.