Pradeep Pattanayak

Union Minister and BJP’s Sambalpur Lok Sabha candidate Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday met Sambalpur’s former legislator Raseswari Panigrahi, who recently resigned from the BJD.

Pradhan termed his meeting with Panigrahi apolitical. 

“My meeting with Raseswari Panigrahi was not a political one. She is a well-known person. Besides being known as a good doctor, she was also a legislator in this area in the past. Since I am a Lok Sabha candidate and our party’s leader Jayanarayan Mishra, an Assembly candidate in the area, it is our responsibility to seek blessings from all. So, today I went to her to get her blessings. She told me ‘Vijayi Bhava’ (Come Victorious),” said Pradhan. 

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Their discussion was learnt to have lasted for half an hour, featuring various issues. 

In his post on X, Pradhan also mentioned the meeting as a courtesy meeting. 
“I had a courtesy meeting with Raseswari Panigrahi, Sambalpur's former leader, social worker and eminent physician and sought her blessings,” read the post. 

On April 23, just days after BJD fielded Rohit Pujari from the Sambalpur Assembly constituency, Panigrahi resigned from the primary membership of the party.