Bhubaneswar: Amid speculation that Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda is joining BJP, the BJD on Sunday said that his joining the saffron party will have no impact on it.
The rumour had started following a meeting between Baijayant and senior BJP leader Samir Dey during a programme hosted by the latter in Cuttack on Saturday.
Reacting to the news, senior BJD leader and Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray said a person visiting someone’s house is a personal matter and Panda is free to give his clarification in this regard.
“Cuttack is a BJD bastion. Whatever someone’s aspirations may be, there will be no impact on BJD if Panda contests from Cuttack,” Samantray said.
Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said an individual is free to take his own decisions. “And in Baijayant’s case, there is no reason for action as he has resigned from BJD. There is nothing to say as he has kept away from the party.”
Finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said there is no reason for BJD to react if Baijayant meets a leader of the other party at his house as he has resigned suo moto as MP as well as from the primary membership of the party.
“It would be improper to give any opinion as no one knows about the discussion he had with the BJP leader,” he pointed out.
In a clarification, BJP leader and former Cuttack MLA, Samir Dey said Baijayant had come to his house to attend a social function.
“I have a personal relationship with him and his family. I usually visit his house,” Dey added.
He, however, said one should not be surprised if a leader of one party meets a leader of another party.
“Baijayant is a popular leader who has set a trend of dealing with the grievances of the people on priority,” he pointed out.
Asked about the possibility of the former BJD leader joining the BJP, Dey said he is yet to join the party.
“If he joins, our party will take a decision on his candidature for the ensuing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. We will give him a rousing welcome if he decides to join the BJP,” he maintained.
Baijayant was suspended from the primary membership of BJD for “anti-party” activities on January 24 this year. Later, he resigned from the party on May 28 and as a Lok Sabha member on June 12. However, the Speaker is yet to accept his resignation.