Nilagiri MLA Sukanta Nayak Returns To BJD Fold Ahead Of Odisha Elections

Bhubaneswar: Two days after resigning from BJP, Nilagiri MLA Sukanta Nayak on Sunday joined Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at its party’s headquarters in Odisha capital on Sunday.

The two-time MLA returned to the Conch fold with thousands of supporters.

He was inducted into the party during a programme in Bhubaneswar in presence of senior BJD leader Pratap Keshari Deo and Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra.

This came moments after former senior Congress leader and four-time former MLA Chiranjib Biswal joined the regional party.

Also Read: Congress Loses Another Senior Leader To BJD In Odisha; 4-Time MLA Chiranjib Biswal Jumps Ship

Nayak had won his first Assembly election as a BJD candidate from Nilagiri constituency in Balasore district in 2014. He, however, dumped the BJD ahead of 2019 elections after the party inducted ex-BJP leader Sushamarani Biswal, who had unsuccessfully fought the 2014 assembly election against him from Nilgiri, and retained the seat as a saffron party candidate. He defeated BJD’s Santosh Khatua by a margin of 1,577 votes in 2019.

Earlier, four BJD MLAs—Pradeep Panigrahy (Gopalpur), Prasanta Kumar Jagadev (Chilika), Arabinda Dhali (Jayadev) and Premananda Nayak (Telkoi) had joined BJP. Saturday again saw a sitting MP, two former MLAs quitting BJD while a former Congress legislator joined the regional party.

Actor-turned-Kendrapada MP Anubhav Mohanty resigned from the Naveen Patnaik-led regional party, stating that he felt suffocated in the party over the past four years. The BJD has dropped Anubhav from Kendrapada Lok Sabha contest and nominated former Congress MLA Anshuman Mohanty from the constituency this time.

Since he mentioned in the resignation letter that he would never quit politics, speculation is rife that he may join the BJP.

Former BJD MLA Priyadarshi Mishra, son-in-law of five-time former MP Prasanna Patasani, also resigned from BJD and joined the BJP hours later.

Actor politician Akash Dasnayak has also quit the Conch party over his self-respect and respect of the people of Korei, the assembly seat which he represented from 2014-2019.

The BJD, however, got a shot in the arm when former Congress MLA K Surya Rao joined the regional party. Rao was elected to the state Assembly from Paralakhemundi in 2014. He fought the 2019 elections from the seat but lost to BJP’s K Narayana Rao.



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