OJM leader Dr Sarat Mishra today joined the BJD at the party headquarters in the presence of party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Sarat Mishra was the treasurer of the Odisha Jan Morcha and party candidate for the Bhubaneswar North constituency earlier.
The incident comes as a surprise because Dr Mishra, a founder member of the OJM, has been a trusted associate of party chief Pyarimohan Mohapatra ever since the regional outfit came into being.
In a late night press release on Monday, OJM’s spokesperson Amar Nayak said Dr Mishra was removed from the post of party treasurer three days ago. His candidature has now been withdrawn because there are ‘doubts over his trustworthiness’.
Earlier the party had expelled a founder member of OJM and well-known youth leader Amiya Pandav for ‘anti-party’ activities.
Antarjami Gamang, president of the BJP’s Jan Jati Morcha and former minister Bimbadhar Kuanr also joined BJD today.