Another jolt to Odisha Congress as former CM’s daughter Sunita Biswal joins BJD

Bhubaneswar: After exit of several leaders from the State unit of Congress over the space of last few months, Sunita Biswal, daughter of former Odisha Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Hemananda Biswal, joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) here on Saturday.

Sunita Biswal who was wthe Working Congress President of Sundargarh district quit the party to join the BJD in the presence of party president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas here.

Sources said she is likely to contest from Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency from the BJD ticket during the upcoming general elections.

“I have joined BJD after being inspired by Naveen Patnaik and his decision to give better prospects and 33 percent reservation to women. I will abide by the decision of party president,” Biswal said adding that she might not have got the opportunity if she had stayed in the Congress.

Hemananda Biswal, who is presently heading the Disciplinary Committee of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee and also planning to contest the elections said, “Sunita’s decision to join BJD by quitting the Congress is her personal choice. Though her decision is a matter of sadness for me, she did not need my advice on it and neither have I anything to do about it.”

However, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik who claimed that the move will have no impact on the Congress said that Sunita might have jumped ship in hope of a ticket for the election.

Former OPCC chief Jaydev Jena said, “Roping in leaders of other political parties into his own flank especially during election times is an old practice of CM Naveen Patnaik.

“If they (BJD) think that joining of leaders from other parties will make their own camp strong, that means their party is weak,” said Jena.

However, BJD leader Prasanna Acharya said leaders of other political parties are jumping into BJD since they are attracted towards its ethics and leadership.