Odisha: Naba Das does U-turn, to join BJD on Jan 24

Jharsuguda: At a time when Congress men in Odisha are leaving no stone unturned to make Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the State on January 25 a big hit, senior Congress leader and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das has emerged as a backstabber for the party. Days after denying the speculations over him quitting the Congress, Das said today that he might join the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on January 24 to contest the 2019 polls.

Das, a businessman-turned-politician, if reports are to be believed, will join the BJD in presence of Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik here on January 24.

The CM will inaugurate a cancer hospital here on the same day.

Speaking to the media here after attending a meeting, Das, who had lauded Naveen Patnaik on several occasions in the recent past, said: “The people of Jharsuguda and my supporters have urged me to contest the next election as BJD candidate under the able leadership of Naveen Patnaik.”

“As I always do what my supporters and well-wishers want, so I will definitely consider it (joining BJD) very soon,” Das added.

Instertingly, the Congress legislator had told the media that he is fighting the 2019 elections as a Congress man just four days ago.

Brushing aside reports of being sidetracked in the party by the State leadership, Das, rather, praised Odisha Pradesh Congress President Niranjan Patnaik and his leadership.

Meanwhile, Niranjan Patnaik, reacting to media reports, said he is unaware about the developments. “I will speak to him (Naba Das) first before commenting on the matter.”

Das, known for his organisational skills and arranging mega events for the party across the State, has twice defeated BJD stalwart Kishore Kumar Mohanty by comfortable margins in the Jharsuguda constituency. When the Congress faced debacles in the Zilla Parishad elections elsewhere in 2017, it was only Jharsuguda district where Das achieved huge victory for the party.

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