Bhubaneswar|2 October 2017
Former Bijepur MLA Ashok Panigrahi joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday during a grand meeting at Barpalli
Two Cabinet Ministers in the Central Government Dharmendra Pradhan and Juel Oram were present there in the meeting to welcome Mr Panigrahi to their party fold.
Ashok Panigrahi’s migration to BJP is seen as asignificant political event in Bijepur the epicenter of the present tremor in the Odisha Politics.
Ruling BJD the party Ashok Panigrahi has migrated from has disparaged Mr. Panigrahi’s move. This will have no effect on the party, said BJD President and CM Naveen Pattnaik,
On the contrary BJP is upbeat about a good electional return in the upcoming Bijepur by election on account of Ashok Panigrahi’s integration.
Ashok Panigrahi had won the Bijepur Assembly constituency with BJD ticket in 2000. He was the joint candidate of BJDand BJP then. Some 59.24 percent of the popular vote had endorsed Panigahi in 2000. He lost to Subal Sahu of Congress in 2004 by a comfortable margin. After that BJD did not field him in the next two elections but Mr. Panigrahi filed nomination as an Independent candidate in 2014 and finished fourth.He took away more than 18 thousand votes while his party candidate lost the election by fewer than 500 votes. BJD President Naveen Pattnaik suspended him after the election.
BJP’s state leadership may be feeling excited to welcome Panigrahi but a section of its local unit Is not happy with this devolepment. They have expressed their discontent openly.
By election in Bijepur assembly consttuency is in the offing following the demise of Subal Sahu, its incumbent representative.