Vikash Sharma

In yet another jolt to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), several prominent leaders of the party on Sunday changed camps ahead of the crucial 2024 General Elections and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A day after quitting the BJD, sitting MLA Arabinda Dhali today joined the BJP at a special function held at the party office in Bhubaneswar in the presence of election in-charge, co-incharge, and other senior leaders including state president Manmohan Samal.

Dhali, who represents the Bhubaneswar Jayadev assembly constituency, sent his resignation letter to party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday.

Dhali is a two-time MLA from BJD and had won the 2009 election from Jayadev Assembly Constituency. While Sashibhusan Behera was nominated by the party to fight from Jayadev in 2014, Dhali was again roped in to fight from the seat in 2019.

Apart from Dhali, senior leader and former Malkangiri MLA, Mukunda Sodi, who resigned from the primary membership of the party on Saturday, also joined the Saffron camp.

Sodi tendered his resignation through a letter to Odisha CM and BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik yesterday.

It is pertinent to mention here that several BJD leaders have resigned and joined the BJP ahead of the crucial general elections.

Recently, Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi and former minister Debasis Nayak joined the BJP after quitting BJD.
Similarly, sitting Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev also joined the BJP in Bhubaneswar recently.

"Under the present situation, BJP will form the government in Odisha. BJP will have over 100 seats as the way large of people, leaders are joining the party under the leadership of state president Manmohan Samal and other leaders. The leaders are joining BJP as the existing governance in the state is not satisfactory and it is suffocating for many," said Dhali.