Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) secretary Anup Sai joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today.
Bhupinder Singh said he had resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party after he realised the party was being used by a coterie to promote their personal interests. He said he would explain everything in a press conference later today.
Daljeet Singh, son of Bhupinder Singh, too joined the BJD along with his father.
Both leaders announced their decision to join the ruling party after a meeting with Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas around noon today.
Welcoming them to the party, BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik said he was ‘delighted’ to have them in the BJD and they will be ‘tremendous assets’ to the party.
While Mr. Singh’s resignation has sent shock waves in political circles in the state, the wave of defections began earlier. Kamala Das, a senior leader from Balasore district, quit the Congress barely two days back.
Prior to her, former minister Ramakrushna Patnaik and his wife, former MP Kumudini from Ganjam district, also quit Congress on the same grounds, followed by another former MLA Umesh Swain from Jagatsinghpur district.
“Some more senior Congress leaders are in contact with me to join the party,” BJD MP Pinaki Mishra said but refused to divulge the names.