Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Six-time MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who recently resigned from the primary membership of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday. Besides, former BJD MP Siddhant Mohapatra and noted litterateur Padma Shri Damayanti Beshra also joined the BJP at party headquarters in Delhi.

Bhartruhari joined the saffron party formally at the party headquarters in New Delhi today. He had quit the ruling party in Odisha on March 22. At that time, speculation was rife that Mahatab would join the BJP.

The son of Odisha’s former Chief Minister Harekrushna Mahtab, Bhartruhari has been representing the prestigious Cuttack Parliamentary seat since 1998. He had also been BJD’s floor leader in Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2019. He emerged victorious as a Parliamentarian for successive six times in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

Bhartruhari bagged the prestigious Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2017. He was also conferred with Sansad Ratna awards in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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Bhartruhari is currently the chairperson of the Parliament Standing Committee on Labour, Textiles and Skill Development. He is also the deputy chairperson of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language, and a member of the Public Accounts Committee.

“My decision to snap my umbilical cord with BJD may be harsh but it has given me immense relief. This is because I had been living with a kind of pain. When it became unbearable, I took the decision,” Bhartruhari had earlier said.

Bhartruhari has been critical of the functioning of the BJD and the Odisha government in multiple editorials of his newspaper.

Notably, Bhartruhari’s resignation from BJD came a day after the Special Court for MP/MLAs framed charges against him in connection with the alleged assault on a police officer.

'Winds of change'

After joining the BJP, Mahtab said, "Sometimes, taking a decision in life becomes inevitable. As per my experience of 28 years, three things such as nationalism, ekatmata and purvoday can only be achieved through the BJP. Going by the last 10 years of experience, I thought it wise to join the BJP. I am thankful to the BJP's top leadership. The enthusiasm of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the confidence of Home Minister Amit Shah and the inspiration of the party’s national president will help me to move ahead. I am going to start a new innings along with a new team and I hope I will get the support of all.”

Thanking the BJP's top leadership, Damayanti Beshra said, "I was with the people earlier. Inspired by 'sab ka saath, sab ka vikash,' I will work for the welfare of all. The BJP has given me a chance to fulfil this purpose.”
She also added that a change is going to take place in Odisha and in fact, the winds of change are blowing in Odisha. "I will reach out to women who have been deprived of development,” she added.

Sidhant Mohapatra thanked the BJP and said, "It was in 2009 when I went to Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister there. I noticed certain things there. He was thinking of the people and I was inspired by him. I want to see the transformation that the Prime Minister has been bringing about in the country in Odisha too. I will be working for the betterment of the people of Odisha.”

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