Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Three former MLAs and more than 50 leaders joined BJP at the party headquarters here today.

Former Janata Dal MLA of Dharmasala (Jajpur) Guru Charan Tikayat, former BJD MLA of Gunupur (Nabarangpur) Ramamurty Mutika and former Janata Dal MLA of Bhatli (Bargarh) Kumarbar Behera formally joined the saffron party.

Besides, BJD leader and Khurda Zilla Parishad member Sangram Keshari Paikray and more than 50 leaders of BJD, Congress and Aam Admi Party (AAP) also joined the party.

These leaders were accorded warm welcome  by BJP state unit president Basant Panda, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Biswabhusan Harichandan who officially announced their joining the party.

Welcoming the new party leaders, Harichandan came down heavily on BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

“The chief minister is touring districts in helicopter and inaugurating projects and laying foundation stones of upcoming projects. Where the money comes from to meet his tour expenses? Construction of podiums and barricades is built with the money of the state government while government machinery including the collector, BDOs and tehsildars are engaged to make the programmes of the chief minister successful. The tour of the chief minister is to hoodwink the people of Odisha as the ruling party has begun its exercise for the ensuing panchayat polls through government machinery,” he pointed out.

Lashing out at the state government for its transparent administration, Harichandan said transparent administration does not mean that the chief minister will take up panchayat poll campaign in helicopter.

On Mahanadi issue, he said the chief minister is trying his best to fool the people of Odisha. “The chief minister is now tagging Mahanadi to all issues. Has he ever seen the Mahanadi? Does he have any love for Odisha and Mahanadi? The time has come for the chief minister to stop this farce,” he pointed out.

The BJP leader also said the chief minister, who is of late harping on Mahanadi issue, has not been able to set up a mega irrigation project in the state in the last 16 years. “The chief minister says the opposition is shedding crocodile tears. But the people of Odisha know that it is the chief minister who only sheds crocodile tears,” he noted.