Hours after quitting BJD, Former minister Debasis Nayak joins BJP in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Former Minister Debasis Nayak today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hours after quitting the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha.

Nayak, a four-time MLA from Bari in Jajpur district, resigned from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect. He sent his resignation letter to BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“With a heavy heart, I am submitting my resignation with immediate effect. Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of Odisha as well as the party,” Nayak wrote in his resignation letter.

Nayak had been elected to the Odisha Assembly from Bari constituency for four times in a row from 2000 to 2014. He had served as the minister for Sports and Youth services and Information and Public Relations in the state.

The four-time MLA was denied the BJD ticket in 2019 Assembly elections in the state.

Nayak joined the BJP in the presence of party’s Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal and other senior leaders at its headquarters here.

“The ideology and principles of BJP have inspired me to join the party. The country has secured a special place in the world under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJD has changed a lot over the years. The regional party has also sacrificed its core values,” Nayak said after joining the BJP.

In a related development, former Congress MLA from Attabira constituency in Bargarh Nihar Ranjan Mahananda, BJD women wing general secretary Joshnarani Jena, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s relative Akhaya Patnaik and former NTPC official Kulamani Biswal also joined the BJP today.

“The entry of former minister Debasis Nayak and former MLA Nihar Mahananda into the BJP will strengthen the party in the state,” said Samal.

In another development, Bhawanipatna block chairman Prafulla Kumar Sahu and vice-chairman Puspanjali Sahu joined the BJD after quitting the BJP today. At least 16 panchayat samiti members of the block also shifted their allegiance towards the ruling party.

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