Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the 2019 general elections, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda today stated that it is irrelevant whether he joins a political party or forms a new one rather it is more important to fight against various issues plaguing the state.

“It is immaterial whether I join any political party or form a new party. The question is who comes forward to fight against different issues in the State,” said Panda on the sidelines of the concluding ceremony of a football tournament organised by the Banki-Barang Youth Association.

“Cases of violence and corruption are increasing in the State and lakhs of Odia people are migrating outside the state due to unemployment,” he added.

The former MP added that every week incidents of rapes are coming to fore like the recent one in Siadimala of Koraput district.

"Now people want a change in the State," Panda added.

Commenting on the meeting between Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Panda stated, “Though they claim to be equidistant from BJP and Congress, it is not the case.”