Cassian Baliarsingh

In a major setback to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), former minister and sitting MLA from Telkoi constituency Premananda Nayak resigned from primary membership of the party, the legislator said on Friday.

Nayak said he was being sidelined by the party. He had sent his resignation letter to CM Naveen Patnaik and organisational secretary through e-mail in October last year.

“I am resigning from the primary membership of ‘Biju Janata Dal’. A valuable time, that spent with you will inspire me to serve better for my Constituency further,” read Nayak’s letter.

As per sources, Nayak was upset that he wasn’t allowed to meet CM Naveen Patnaik over various issues in his constituency. Furthermore, former Champua MLA Dhanurjay Sidu, the main opponent of Nayak, was allowed to join BJD. On the other hand, no one got in touch with him and tried to listen to his pleas even after he sent his resignation. So, he decided to resign from the party’s primary membership, it was learnt.

Nayak won the assembly election in 2009 and 2019 on a BJD ticket. During Naveen Patnaik’s 5th term, he was picked as Skill Development and Technical Education Minister.

Speaking to OTV, Nayak said, “I was a minister, but still couldn’t get access to meet CM and bring to his notice all the problems prevailing in my constituency. Later, they brought a candidate to the party whom I had contested against.”

“Ever since BJD was formed, it has always won the elections in Telkoi. So, I don’t understand why they had to include the candidate (Dhanurjay Sidu) who had lost elections twice. This slowly began to create a fraction in the party. I tried to talk about him to senior party leaders, but everyone ignored me. The unity that was there once, is no longer in the party. So, I made up my mind to tender my resignation,” Nayak said while speaking to OTV.

He further added, “BJD party was like my family. Misunderstanding occurs between family members. However, at the end of the day, things get resolved. But, I was never given the chance to speak despite being a well-wisher of the party.”

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