**Bhubaneswar:** With the BJD successfully luring late Congress MLA from Bijepur, Subal Sahu’s family into their fold in September, many notable Congress leaders of Bargarh district are following suit with news emerging of Barpali town NAC Chairperson Meena Seth and Vice-Chairman Pradyumna Tripathy announcing hours earlier of their decision to join the BJD, along with six other Congress councillors of Bargarh district.
Formally inducting them into the party fold Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha, expressed his pleasure at this development. “I’m happy that all the Congress councillors of Barpali NAC, including Chairman, Meena Seth, and Vice-Chairman, Barpali NAC and General Secretary, Odisha Pradesh Youth Congress, Sri Pradyumna Tripathy of Bijepur Assembly Constituency have joined the Biju Janata Dal today. I welcome them to our party and their joining will strengthen the Biju Janata Dal.” He announced to the media in the presence of the Barpali town NAC Chairperson and her aide, the Vice-Chairman and six other councilors. The six councilors inducted into the BJD from Bargarh district on Sunday are Achyutananda Panda, Sukhi Behera, Aswini Parida, Gayatri Rout, Rebati Bhoi and Babita Ran.
Meanwhile, ecstatic with the inclusion of all these former Congress leaders from Bargarh district into the party, Sushant Singh, MLA, Bhatli, BJD asserted that the BJD is flexing its muscles in Bijepur, while also claiming that not only the Congress leaders, but also some BJP leaders of Bargarh too are expressing interest in joining the BJD.