JMM leaders, Congress leader Gamang's wife join Biju Janata Dal

Bhubaneswar: After their seat adjustment bid with BJD failed, JMM Odisha unit President Sudam Marandi and his five colleagues on Saturday  joined the ruling party in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here. Former
jmm leaders congress leader gamang s wife join...
PTI 16 Mar 2014, 09:56 AM IST
Bhubaneswar: After their seat adjustment bid with BJD failed, JMM Odisha unit President Sudam Marandi and his five colleagues on Saturday  joined the ruling party in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here. Former Odisha chief minister Giridhar Gamang's wife Hema Gamang also joined the BJD and she may contest against her husband.

"I am delighted that Sudam Marandi, who is the state president of JMM, his party's Mayurbhanj district president Bhadab Hansda and legal advisor Sunil Das have joined BJD," Naveen Patnaik told reporters.

"This will be tremendous help not only in Mayurbhanj and Sundargrh districts, but the entire state," the BJD supremo said.

Three other JMM leaders - Satyabrat Das, Subhransu Sekhar Deo Babu and Snehasis Panda - also joined the ruling BJD along with Marandi.

Marandi said though they were keen to enter into seat adjustment with BJD for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, it was not possible to forge an understanding as other JMM leaders raised obstacles.

Therefore, it was decided to join BJD in order to work for the welfare and development of tribals, he said, adding they would work as per the instruction of the BJD chief.

It may be noted that Naveen Patnaik and Sudam Marandi had announced about the possible seat adjustment on Friday.

While BJD claimed that the seat adjustment attempt could not be made due to demand of more seats by JMM, sources said Shibu Soren was opposed to having any agreement with the Naveen Patnaik's party in Odisha.

In a similar development, senior NCP leader and former MLA from Balasore, Arun Dey also joined BJD  Saturday  evening. Dey had contested the 2009 election as NCP candidate from Balasore Lok Sabha constituency but lost to Srikanta Jena of Congress.

In a blow to Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, former party MP Hema Gamang, wife of former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang today joined BJD.

"I have sent my resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. I quit the party because of OPCC chief Jaydev Jena's attitude towards senior leaders," she told reporters after meeting BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik here.

Alleging that she was humiliated and insulted by the OPCC chief, Hema said, "I am interested in contesting from Koraput seat."

Congress has already named her husband as its candidate from Koraput. He had won the seat eight times in a row between 1972 and 1998.

Asked whether she would contest against her husband, Hema retorted, "Don't ask me about family matters. I just want to fight the polls."

BJD sitting MP Jayram Pangi from Koraput Lok Sabha seat, who accompanied Hema to Naveen Niwas, said, "Her joining will strengthen BJD in Koraput."

Hema was first elected to Lok Sabha from Koraput in 1999 when her husband became chief minister. She was re-nominated by Congress to seek re-election in 2004. She was also elected to the Assembly in 2009 from Gunupur.
 
   
 

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