Somatirtha Purohit

Ahead of the Panchayat Election in Odisha, senior Congress leader and former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in a special programme organised in the district. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik joined the meeting via virtual mode.

Majhi along with his supporters joined the ‘Shankha’ (Counch) brigade in the presence of Jajpur MLA Pranab Prakash Das and Nabarangpur MP Ramesh Majhi.

“Before induction into BJD, I took oath to strengthen the party at the grassroots level,” said Pradeep Majhi. He said he will ensure bringing several development projects of the government in Koraput.   

After joining the new party, Majhi said that there is a greater scope of serving people from a regional party in the State as it has a wider base than Congress.

Meanwhile, Majhi’s move in switching allegiance has been criticised by both Congress and BJP leaders. “It is not likely to affect BJP in the upcoming polls. Instead, it will strengthen the party’s position. Pradeep Majhi will be helpful in destroying ruling BJD in the state,” said Senior BJP Leader Balabhadra Majhi.

Senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati targeted Majhi and termed the latter’s action ‘shameful’. “Koraput is the land of martyrs and Congress did many things for the development of the region. Majhi joined Congress, gained fame and left. It is not going to affect the party in any way,” said Bahinipati.

He attacked Pradeep Majhi on the latter’s claims that Congress was doing nothing in Koraput, “What did you do in your tenure as member of Parliament,” he asked.

As reported earlier, Majhi, who was the working president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) resigned from the primary membership of the party on October 22. Two days later, he announced his decision to join BJD.

Meanwhile, political observers believe that Majhi's joining BJD may not only spell more trouble for the Congress' declining base in south Odisha but the party may also have lost a bright prospect of revival in the district.