Ex-Odisha CM Giridhar Gamang joins BJP
New Delhi: Former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang today met BJP president Amit Shah and announced that he was joining the party.
While the party leadership is reported to have accepted his joining, his formal joining will take place later in Bhubaneshwar.
The 72-year-old tribal leader from Odisha, who quit the Congress on May 30, said he decided to join the BJP as he liked its political strategy.
"I have decided to join the BJP, but I will join formally soon. It will be decided by the state unit soon. I had met the Amit Shah today and made my plea which has been accepted by the party leadership," Gamang said after an hour-long meeting with Shah.
Asked why he was joining the BJP, he said, "I had many options but I decided to join a party where there was my acceptance."
"BJP is a national party and now it has proved as an alternative to Congress. The way they are having their strategy in Indian democracy, I think this new concept of political strategy...I like it as it is not only to be in power but also to serve people," he said.
Union Ministers Jual Oram, also a tribal leader from Odisha, and Dharmendra Pradhan, besides party's secretary Arun Singh were also present during the meeting.
Terming today's visit as a 'courtesy call' to the BJP chief, Pradhan said Gamang is a seasoned politician from Odisha, who has considerable hold and respect among tribals, poor and backward classes and will benefit BJP.
"Congress is a bankrupt party and everyone is leaving it. The party will benefit in a big way in Odisha by Gamang's joining," he said.
He said what has been decided today is that Gamang will formally join the BJP in Bhubaneshwar in the presence and leadership of Union Minister Jual Oram.
The attempt is part of BJP's plan to strengthen its tribal base in Odisha and take on the BJD in the next Assembly elections slated in June 2019.
Gamang was chief minister of Odisha for nine months in 1999 and has also been a former Union Minister. He was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1972. Sources said that Gamang is also looking at the political future of his son.