Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Even as speculations continue to build over the next move of senior leaders Bijoy Mohapatra and Dilip Ray who recently quit BJP, saffron party MLA Pradip Purohit today stirred the hornet’s nest by claiming that both the senior leaders are in a secret understanding with the ruling-BJD for the last two years despite being members of the BJP.

Purohit further alleged that Dilip-Bijoy's anti-party comments were proof of their unholy nexus with the BJD for petty political gains and they might join the BJD soon.

The duo (when in BJP) was regularly commenting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and intentionally putting the party’s stand on odd grounds over issues like Mahanadi water dispute. I believe that both of them have secret ties with the BJD since two years and might soon join their party too.

- Padampur MLA Pardip Purohit.

However, the BJD has refuted any secret understanding between the party and both the leaders.

“BJP’s loss after the resignation of Bijoy and Dilip babu is clearly evident from the comments of their leaders that both of them were helping the BJD while still being in the saffron party,” said BJD MLA Sameer Das.

Asked about what would be the party's move if both Bijoy and Dilip decide to join BJD, Das said that the decision lies with the party supremo and CM Naveen Patnaik.

Meanwhile, there is still suspense over the future course of action of both the leaders as none of them has clarified anything in this regard.

On the other hand, supporters of Bijoy and Dilip have reportedly quit BJP membership and followers of the Rourkela MLA believe that the legislator might join the BJD.

“If anyone had a big role in the formation of the BJD, it was Dilip Ray himself; so, as supporters of Dilip, we hope that he should join the ruling party,” said Rinku Samal, a supporter of the MLA.

On the other hand, the Congress has stated that the party leadership will decide if both Bijoy and Dilip wish to join.

“Whoever it may be, if anyone wants to work for the development of Odisha, they should join the Congress. But it is up to them (Dilip & Bijoy) to decide whether their ideology matches with the Congress,” said OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik.

Earlier, senior leader and former minister Damodar Rout had urged both the leaders to join his new Biju Samatakranti Dal.

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