Leaders switching parties on the eve of elections is nothing new. This is a customary practice in Odisha. While a very few of them won the elections, the remaining defectors lost, much to their embarrassment.
Among turncoats who had joined the BJD are BJP ST Morcha general secretary Priyabrata Majhi, former BJP spokesperson Biswajeet Mohanty and BJP leaders Krushna Chandra Panda, Bhagirathi Sethi, Tusharkanti Behera, Subash Chauhan, Rajkishore Das and Duryodhan Majhi; and Congress leaders Jogesh Singh, Naba Das, Pranaya Sahu, Chakradhar Paika, Dushmanta Naik, Manas Mangaraj, Chandrasekhar Sahu, Bikram Kumar Panda, Sarada Prasanna Jena, Pradeep Disari and Pradesh Mahila Congress chief Sumitra Jena. Ama Odisha Party president Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, too, had joined the ruling party.
Similarly, BJD leaders who joined the BJP are Raghunath Mohanty, K Narayan Rao, Balabhadra Majhi, Baijayant Panda, Dambarudhar Majhi, Ashok Panigrahi, Rabi Narayan Pani, Rabi Mallick, Pratyusha Rajeswari and Damodar Rout, Kusum Tete and Jayant Sarangi. Besides, Congress leaders Bibhu Prasad Tarai and Prakash Behera and Utkal Bharat president Kharavela Swain had also joined the saffron party.
Besides, three former BJD MLAs Ramakant Seth, Nabin Nanda and Panchanan Kanungo had switched to the Congress while former BJD MP Laxman Tudu and former Congress MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria had joined the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) respectively.
Among these leaders, 26 had contested the elections out of which nine were successful. Out of the eight leaders who had contested the Lok Sabha polls, only one of them won while eight out of 18 leaders won the Assembly elections.
Prominent leaders like Baijayant Panda, Damodar Rout, Raghunath Mohanty, Kharavela Swain, Bibhu Prasad Tarai, Balabhadra Majhi, Panchanan Kanungo, Jogesh Singh and Prakash Behera suffered humiliating defeats.
On the other hand, among those who had won the elections are Naba Das, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, K. Narayan Rao, Kusum Tete, Jayant Sarangi, Bhagirathi Sethi, Bikram Kumar Panda and Chandrasekhar Sahu.