Former BJD MP Baijayant Panda joined into BJP in the presence of Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Juel Oram and other senior party leaders on Monday. The party is supposed to get stronger in Odisha before the Lok Sabha elections, so the addition of Panda into the party is considered to be auspicious and advantageous.
Panda, a four-time member of Parliament, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Odisha’s Kendrapara constituency in 2014.
With the Lok Sabha elections and also the state assembly elections in Odisha; BJP expects Panda's presence to strengthen its position in the coastal region of Odisha. Panda met BJP President Amit Shah and joined into the BJP at the headquarters in the national capital.
Baijayant Panda tweeted saying 'Nine months of introspection & widespread consultations w/colleagues & public. Grateful for support received from all over. On auspicious #MahaShivratri, I've decided to join @BJP4India & work under the leadership of @narendramodi Ji to serve Odisha & India to the best of my ability'
Panda owns an influential media group in Odisha and has been a senior member and adviser to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's party 'Biju Janata Dal'. Due to differences and dissents, he left BJD. The BJD also had suspended him from the party on the basis of anti-party activities.