BJD not adverse to taking Giridhar Gamang: Damodar Rout

Bhubaneswar: A day after nine-time MP and former Odisha chief minister Giridhar Gamang quit Congress, a senior BJD leader today indicated that the ruling party was not against taking the veteran tribal leader into its fold.

“If Giridhar Gamang wants, we have no objection to his joining the BJD,” party vice-president Damodar Rout, who is also the Excise and Cooperation minister, told reporters here.

Stating that BJD is a large party and has accepted leaders from different political parties including Gamang’s wife Hema Gamang in the past, Rout said “his (Gamang) wife is already in the BJD. I do not think any problem to accommodate the former chief minister.”

Hema Gamang was fielded as BJD candidate from Laxmipur Assembly seat in Koraput district in 2014 general elections.

Earlier, BJD spokesman Pratap Keshari Deb had described Gamang as a prominent tribal leader from southern region of the state. “It is a set back for Congress,” Deb had said after Gamang announced his resignation from the Congress.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Jual Oram, who had a meeting with Gamang about a month ago sparking speculation about possibility of the ex-CM joining BJP, said “I do not take decision in this regard. BJP’s central leaders are only empowered to take such a decision.”

Describing Gamang as a prominent tribal leader, Odisha Jan Morcha leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra said “Gamang should join any regional party.” Mohapatra hinted that his party might take Gamang if the former chief minister desired.

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