Vikash Sharma

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday revoked its expulsion order from senior leader Damodar Rout, barely a few months ahead of the crucial 2024 elections.

Rout was expelled from BJD ahead of the 2019 elections on September 12, 2018 after the veteran leader started criticising the party over alleged irregularities and corruption. Subsequently, Rout had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on March 14, 2019 in Delhi. He was seen attending several programmes of BJP and even campaigned for the saffron party. He had unsuccessfully contested on a BJP ticket from Balikuda-Ersama constituency in 2019.

However, Rout had distanced himself from the BJP and was not seen in enough events owing to health-related and other issues.

Rout’s son Sambit Routray said, “My father is ill and he is undergoing treatment at the hospital. The news of the revocation of suspension will give him new strength. My father always wanted to serve the BJD.”

Sambit further said that it is a new year gift from CM Naveen Patnaik. “My father had become mentally weak after staying away from the party (BJD). Today’s news will certainly give him happiness and we thank CM for removing the expulsion order,” said Sambit.

Sambit revealed that he had urged VK Pandian to request CM Naveen to bring his father back into the party fold two years back. Pandian had assured him to take up the matter at the appropriate time.

“I have seen the pain of my father as he devoted the bulk of his time to Biju Parivar. I had once requested VK Pandian to ask CM Naveen Patnaik to remove the expulsion order some two years back as my father had become mentally weak after staying away from BJD. My father could not stay long with BJP as his heart was BJD,” Sambit added.

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