Bhubaneswar: Putting all speculations at rest, senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram on Tuesday said that his party colleague and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan is the BJP’s chief minister candidate for Odisha.
“Dharmendra Pradhan is the chief minister candidate of the BJP in Odisha. We will fight the forthcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections under his leadership. Our aim is to unseat Naveen Patnaik from power and put an end to the rule of the non-Odia bureaucrats in the state,” Jual told mediapersons here.
On the joining of the former Odisha cadre IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi in the BJP in New Delhi earlier in the day, he said she has joined the party as a primary member.
Asked about the speculations on the resignation of the two senior leaders Dilip Ray and Bijay Mohapatra from the BJP, Jual said it will be a major loss for his party if they quit. However, BJP will try its best to compensate the loss, he added.
Referring to the allegations of Ray who has hinted his resignation from the party as the Centre has not taken steps for the development of Rourkela city, Jual said it is not the issue of the development, rather due to political reasons, Ray may have decided to quit the BJP.
“It is the personal matter of a leader to decide whether to remain in a party or quit. My personal relationship with Dilip is very good. But the political relationship is temporary,” he pointed out.
Commenting on the demands of Ray for the construction of the second bridge on Brahmani river and upgradation of Ispat General Hospital (IGH) in Rourkela, Jual said construction of the proposed bridge is delayed as the state government is yet to give environment clearance. However, the process to upgrade the IGH as a super speciality hospital has already started.