BJP LP, officer bearers to meet jointly today

Bhubaneswar: A joint meeting of BJP legislature party and office bearers will be held here at 3 pm on Sunday to discuss the strategy on how to corner the BJD government in the State Assembly during the ensuing Budget session starting on March 15.

BJP state in-charge Arun Singh and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan will attend the meeting, said sources.

Refuting talk that the joint meeting will discuss the next the Legislature Party leader, the party’s State President Basant Panda said, “The new BJP LP leader will not be elected during the meeting.”

He further stated, “The State unit of the BJP has requested the Central leadership to send observers for the election of the legislature party leader and the process will begin after that,” adding that the party’s LP leader is likely to be elected after the National Executive Committee meeting scheduled to held on March 19 and 20.

After Panda, who was holding the post of BJP LP leader, was appointed as the State President, the party has to choose a new legislature party leader. The party’s constitution bars a leader from holding two posts simultaneously.

Former BJP State President KV Singhdeo, who was being talked about as the next LP leader, told OTV, “I am not interested to be the BJP LP leader and have already discussed this with the party’s MLAs and state in-charge.”

When asked what would happen in case his name is chosen for the BJP LP leader, Singhdeo retorted, “I will decline that.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Election of the LP leader is the discretion of the party’s Parliamentary board. At right time, they will take the right decision.”

Another Union minister Jual Oram said, “Election of the BJP LP is due. The party’s President and his team will take the decision and everyone will respect that.”

BJP MLA from Kuchinda Rabi Naik is stated to be also the fron-runner for the BJP LP post.