**Bhubaneswar**: Nihar Ranjan Beura (50), an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, who had contested as an Independent candidate for the post of Panchayat Samiti member and won, joined BJP on Tuesday.
Beura, a native of Dumuka village in Kendrapada, is the only highly-qualified person in the district to have won the three-tier Panchayat election.
The IITian, who is also a faculty member of KIIT University, joined the saffron party in presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other leaders at party headquarters here.
He had entered the poll fray as an Independent candidate for the post of Panchayat Samiti member in Dumuka gram panchayat. He won the post by defeating his nearest rival by a thin margin of 27 votes.
Beura lost his father and elder brother in 1967 cyclone at the age of just one.
After finishing high school from Marsaghai and Intermediate Science in Kendrapada College, he did his M Tech in Industrial Engineering and Management from IIT, Kharagpur.
After having worked in multinational companies in the US, Germany, the UK, France among other countries, he has now set up a dairy farm in his village from where locals can buy pure milk at a cheaper rate