14 March 2019
Bhubaneswar: Putting all speculations to rest, former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and senior MLA Damodar Rout today joined BJP. He joined the saffron party at its Delhi office.
Prominent among others, the joining occasion was graced by Odisha BJP-in-charge Arun Singh, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP national vice-president and spokesperson Baijayant Panda, BJP's Odisha Legislature Party leader K.V. Singhdeo and others.
Damodar Rout is the sitting MLA of Jagatshinghpur assembly constituency.
"Finally after a lot of mental exercise I have joined the BJP. I am an old person who has been in public life for the past 45 years. I served in the Odisha Legislative Assembly for 35 years and handled 21 overall departments as a Minister during my career," Rout said addressing media persons at BJP headquarters in Delhi.
"Biju Babu (Biju Patnaik) brought me into politics. He used to ponder, though Odisha is richest in terms of mineral reserves, the people of this state are poor. I was a close associate of Biju Babu for a long time," Rout added, in his maiden briefing after donning the BJP hat.
After being ousted from BJD last year allegedly for his anti-party activities, he was in dilemma whether to join BJP or Congress and finally opted for the BJP despite being its vehement critic whole life as well as claiming himself to be a staunch loyalist of legendary Biju Patnaik.
He had even floated a regional party having his mentor Biju Babu’s name tagged but it all fell flat after a few days.
Notably, Damodar Rout has been in controversy every now and then for being a motor-mouth and jibes.