Vikash Sharma

Soon after tendering his resignation from BJP, Bhrugu Baxipatra on Wednesday joined the BJD at a function held at its party headquarters in Bhubaneswar. Apart from Baxipatra, former MLA Prakash Behera, who had also resigned from the BJP a few days back, joined the BJD camp ahead of the crucial 2024 elections.

“I have come to a new family now. There has been massive development in Odisha and to speed up this development, I have joined the party under CM Naveen Patnaik’s leadership,” said Baxipatra.

Speaking on the occasion, Prakash Behera said, “We are grassroots leaders and with the objective to serve people, we have joined BJD after getting inspired by CM Naveen Patnaik’s development activities.”

Will Baxipatra and Behera get BJD tickets?

BJP had earlier given him opportunities to contest as MLA from Jeypore and Berhampur. But he could not register a win for the party on both the occasions. Sources said Baxipatra was an aspirant for the BJP ticket for the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat; however, after being denied ticket, he decided to quit the party today.

According to experts, both Baxipatra and Behera have good chance to get BJD tickets. While Prakash Behera is quite popular in Salepur and has a huge base of supporters, Baxipatra is said to be good at organisation level and had worked for a long time in the BJP and Ganjam district.

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Taking into account the past activities of both the leaders, the ruling party may nominate them in the upcoming elections. However, before doing this, the BJD will try its level best to pacify its own leaders, who are aspirants for party tickets, by rehabilitating them in organisation or by giving them some posts, believe experts.