BJP’s 4 Corporators Of Berhampur Municipal Corporation Join BJD

Sunil Patnaik

Berhampur: In a jolt to BJP in Odisha’s Ganjam district ahead of general elections, its four corporators of BeMC joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday.

The corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), who joined the BJD, included Ranjita Behera (Ward 20), D Karunakar (21), Pradip Kumar Satapathy (22) and Nilakantha Sahu (27). They were elected on BJP ticket in the 2022 civic election.

Ganjam district president of BJD Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, Berhampur MLA Bikram Panda, Berhampur mayor Sanghamitra Dalei and others welcomed the new members to the party and said they will further strengthen the party in the BeMC and Ganjam district.

BJP candidates had won seven wards in the 42-ward BeMC on March 24, 2022. While BJD won 30 wards, Independents and Congress candidates won four and one ward respectively. Earlier, two Independents had joined the BJD. With four more corporators joining BJD, the ruling party’s strength in the BeMC has increased to 36 and the strength of BJP decreased to 3 from 7.

The BJP corporators, who joined BJD, alleged that though they were in the party for the last 27 years, they were continuously overlooked by the newly appointed president of its Ganjam unit Dr Subash Chandra Sahu. “We were not allowed to meet Union Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Berhampur recently. We were not invited to go to Ayodhya even when a special train started its journey from Berhampur to Ayodhya recently,” they said.

Alleging that there was no discipline in BJP, they said they opted for BJD as it is a disciplined party. “We are inspired by the principles, ideals and developmental works of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” they added.

They also criticised the BJP for admitting Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi into party. Pradeep had ‘looted’ lakhs of rupees from the public and was kicked out of the BJD, they claimed.

Meanwhile, Dr Sahu said there would be no impact on BJP for defection of four corporators. The people elected them as BJP candidates and their voters would react accordingly. Nilakantha Sahu, corporator of ward 27 was suspended from BJP for anti-party activities earlier.

Sunil Patnaik

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