Former Union Minister, Congress leaders join BJD in Odisha

Former Union Minister, Congress leaders join BJD in Odisha

NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister Chandrasekhar Sahu along with several key leaders of the Congress and a large number of supporters joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Berhampur on Wednesday.nnThe Congress leaders who joined the BJD along with Sahu include former AICC member Bikram Panda, Ganjam district Congress president Bhagaban Gantayat as well as all the eleven Congress corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation.nnSahu was the Congress MP of Berhampur and Minister of State for Rural Development from 2004 to 2009 during UPA rule at the Centre.nnThousands of supporters of these leaders took out a rally in the city ahead of the public meeting held at Khallikote Autonomous College stadium for their entry into the BJD. In his address, Patnaik welcomed Sahu and his supporters to the BJD and hoped that the experience of these former Congress leaders will strengthen the party and help in development of the State.nnSahu in his address termed Patnaik ?Vikash Purush (Man of Development)?. ?When I was chairman of Berhampur municipality, the then CM of Odisha Biju Patnaik had extended all support for my developmental works and had also praised me for my efforts. I am now happy to work with his son Naveen Patnaik,? he said.nnPanda criticised the Congress for its alleged infighting, which according to him was the reason for leaving it.nnIt was a major show of strength for the BJD in Berhampur. Along with the CM, four State Ministers and several top leaders of the party were present at the public meeting to welcome these former Congress leaders.nnOn March 29, several key Congress leaders from Ganjam, including Sahu, Panda, Gantayat had sent their resignation letters to the AICC and the Pradesh Congress Committee.

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