Bhubaneswar: The headquarters of BJP’s Odisha unit on Wednesday, witnessed hectic political activity, as a large number of ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders, including three sitting MLAs, joined the saffron party ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
Out of the four sitting BJD MLAs, who have so far resigned from the regional party to protest against the denial of tickets to them, three have joined the BJP here.
The sitting BJD MLAs who joined the BJP are namely Debraj Mohanty, Purna Chandra Nayak and Sukant Kumar Nayak.
All of them were denied party tickets for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
However, Gunupur MLA Trinath Gomango, who resigned from the BJD, has not made any such move so far.
Earlier, BJD’s expelled Paradip MLA Damodar Rout had joined the BJP.
Similarly, three former BJD MLAs – Niranjan Pradhan, Kashinath Mallick and K Narayan Rao also joined the BJP on Wednesday.
Another former MLA Nilamani Bisoi, who was elected to assembly from Surada assembly segment, as an independent candidate in 2009, also joined the BJP here.
Meanwhile, former BJD MP Laxman Tudu, who had switched over to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) after being denied party ticket in 2014 elections, also joined the BJP at the party’s state headquarters here.
Tudu, who was aspiring to contest from Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat, however, resigned from the JMM as the party decided to field Anjani Soren, the daughter of party supremo Sibu Soren.
Meanwhile, a prominent tribal woman leader from Sundergarh district, Kushum Tete, who had resigned from BJD on Tuesday, also joined the BJP here.
Tete, a grassroots level woman leader, resigned from the BJD after the party president gave the ticket to Sundergarh’s Congress MLA Jogesh Singh. The Congress MLA had joined the BJD recently.
The BJD leaders joined the saffron party along with hundreds of their supporters.
All these leaders are hopeful of getting BJP tickets to contest the upcoming polls as the party has not yet announced its list of candidates.