In a setback to the Congress party, former MLA from Laxmipur Assembly constituency in Koraput district, Kailash Chandra Kulesika joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday.
Kulesika along with hundreds of his supporters formally joined the BJD at the office of its youth wing at Bhubaneswar in the presence of several leaders.
Kulesika was elected to the State Assembly on a Congress ticket from 2014 to 2019. However, he was defeated by the BJD candidate by a meagre 229 votes in the 2019 Assembly election.
Responding to the joining of BJD by Kulesika, senior leader and MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said his exit will not have any impact on the party.
“Many days back, I had told the PCC president that Kailash Kulesika and other leaders of Congress were in touch with BJD. They are not actual Congress people. It is good for the party that they left. There will not be any impact on the party following his defection,” said Tara Bahinipati.
Last month, senior Congress leader and the former legislator from Kotpad Assembly Constituency, Chandra Sekhar Majhi had joined the BJD.
Majhi had won the 2014 Assembly Elections from Kotpad on a Congress ticket. However, he was defeated by BJD’s Padmini Dian in the subsequent 2019 elections.