Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Putting all speculations to rest, family members of late Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (Lulu), including his daughter Upasana and brother Lalitendu along with their supporters are all set to join BJP next week.

In a major setback to Congress, the family amidst hundreds of Congress workers of Brahmagiri and activists of ‘Lulu Sena’ will join the saffron party on October 14, informed sources. "We congratulate Lalitendu and his family for their decision to join BJP. It is not their personal choice, but many of his family supporters and Congress activists have backed their move," Brahmagiri block Congress president Biswambar Samantray, who will also join BJP said.

Lulu Sena general secretary Rajendra Panda said "As the family of Lulu Bhai is going to join BJP, our activists will also follow their path. Some of our activists will accompany them during the joining ceremony."

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Talks of their possible change of guard were fuelled after the Triranga Yatra of BJP at the ancestral village of Lulu in Gadarodanga in the recent past and felicitation of Lulu's daughter Upasana by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ‘Paika Rebellion’ anniversary celebrations in Delhi. Moreover, close association of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan with Lulu’s family and his presence in some social programmes sponsored by the top Congress leader had also added to speculations. Pradhan had also visited Lulu's house after his death to console the bereaved family.

On the other hand, the State BJP which has a weak base in Brahmagiri is optimistic of strengthening the party organisation in the BJD bastion after this move. A new political equation is likely to emerge in Brahmagiri as some former Congress MLAs who are said to be strong associates of the late leader are expected to accept BJP membership