Himansu Shekhar Rout

After hopping parties several times in the past, veteran leader and former Koraput MP, Jayaram Pangi finally joined Congress on Saturday. Former MLA of Talsara, Ranjit Bhitiria quit the BJD and also joined the Congress. 

 Ahead of the 2024 elections, the grand old party, which has been out of power in Odisha for the last 24 years, received a shot in its arm with the joining of Pangi but simultaneously received a setback after its veteran leader Gyana Beura crossed over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

As per reports, the Odisha unit of Congress organised a meeting at the party office where Pangi joined in the presence of several party stalwarts like PCC president Sarat Pattanayak, Bijay Patnaik, Niranjan Patnaik, and Prasad Harichandan.  

A few months back, Pangi joined the Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti (BRS) led by Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao in Hyderabad. He was earlier elected as MP from Koraput on a ticket from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). In 2019, Pangi then deserted the BJD and joined the BJP. He had contested as the BJP nominee for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat.

Besides, former MLA of Talsara Ranjit Bhitiria quit the BJD and joined the Congress. Two frontline BJD leaders of Kandhamal district also joined the party, said Odisha Congress chief, Sarat Pattanayak.   

On the other hand, the BJP camp was reportedly in a joyous mood after its former leader Gyana Beura, who was in Congress, returned to the party fold. Beura joined in the presence of Odisha BJP president, Manmohan Samal at party headquarters in Bhubaneswar.

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