Mrunal Manmay Dash

In a shocker to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just ahead of the bypoll in Jharsuguda Assembly constituency, its Jharsuguda district president, Mangal Sahu quit the party and joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday.

Sahu joined the conch party at its new office in Bhubaneswar.

The move by Sahu came just a week ahead of the Jharsuguda bypoll.

"I was a disciplined worker of the party. I worked diligently and strengthened the organization from the grassroots level. But now the party has drifted away from its ideologies,” Sahu said.

“The BJP should not have stretched the Naba Das issue so long. By doing so, they have diverted their attention from the real issues that Jharsuguda is facing,” he added.

Odisha BJP chief, Manmohan Samal said, “Everybody is free to choose a party of their liking. We should not waste our time in discussing that.”

Speaking about the by-election and its impact on BJP’s prospects, Samal further said, “We are busy in campaigning. Moreover, BJP contests elections with a particular ideology; it does not depend on any individual.”

“Let bygones be bygones. We believe in hard work and collective decision. The party will take a decision on the appointment of a new district president,” Samal said.

The BJP has fielded Tankadhar Tripathy as its candidate for the bypoll scheduled for May 10.

Tripathy will be contesting against BJD’s Dipali Das and Congress’ Tarun Pandey.

  • Reported by:
  • Bhagirathi Sahu