Himansu Shekhar Rout

Former Narla MLA Balabhadra Majhi quit the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday, in a setback to the ruling party ahead of the upcoming elections. 

He resigned from the primary membership of the ruling party and sent his resignation to the president of the party, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He later said that he was not allowed by a 'coterie' to meet the Chief Minister despite his multiple attempts in the past.   

In his resignation letter to party president Naveen Patnaik, he mentioned, “I do hereby relinquish the primary membership of the party.”

Hours after his resignation, the five-time MLA alleged that a coterie is active around Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Expressing his displeasure over the way the BJD is functioning, he observed, “In 2019, I was denied a ticket by the party without being given any reason. Later, I was not made part of any programmes of the BJD. What is sad is that despite my repeated attempts, I was not allowed to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.” 

He lamented that he had tried to personally meet the CM several times to tell his complaints, but that was not allowed to happen.

The miffed legislator also stated that there was no hint of getting a ticket from the party in the 2024 elections.

“It is pointless to become a leader of people if you cannot meet the top leadership to discuss the grievances of people. Those who once surrounded former BJD leader Pyari Mohapatra are now around the Chief Minister. This is a coterie.  As long as the coterie around the CM is active, I would not get any scope to meet the CM,” he added.

However, he did not reveal his next course of action or plans of joining any other party. If sources are to be believed, Majhi is likely to join Congress soon. No comments have been received from the BJD in this regard.

Majhi was elected as a legislator five times from Kalahandi district, after starting his political career in 1990 with the Janata Dal. He was elected as MLA in 2000 from the Narla Assembly seat. In 2014, he was elected as a legislator from Lanjigarh.

He also served as minister twice during the first and the second term of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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