Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Former MP Hema Gamang, wife of former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang, surprised Congress by expressing her interest to join Biju Janta Dal (BJD) while meeting BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.

Speculation is rife that Hema is joining the regional party to contest from Koraput LS seat versus her husband. An eager Hema said, “I am interested to contest from the Koraput LS seat.”

However, no official confirmation of her joining came from BJD.

Earlier in the day, Hema announced her decision to quit Congress party while blaming OPCC chief Jayadev Jena for the move.

"I have sent my resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. I left the party because of Jayadev Jena's attitude towards senior leaders," she said.

BJD sitting MP Jayram Pangi from Koraput Lok Sabha seat, who accompanied Hema to Naveen's residence, said, "Her joining will strengthen BJD in Koraput."

Hema was first elected to Lok Sabha from Koraput in 1999 when Giridhar Gamang became chief minister. She was re-nominated by Congress to seek re-election in 2004. She was also elected to the Assembly in 2009 from Gunupur.

Notably, Congress has nominated Hema’s husband and senior party leader Giridhar to contest LS polls from Korpaut constituency.

"She can tell about her decision. Besides, leaders of that party where she will be joining can say about the details. Self centered people only take this kind of decision," Giridhar said.