Dissident Cong leaders, workers join BJD

Salepur/Bhubaneswar: In an utter embarrassment for the State Congress, a group of local party leaders and workers from Salepur block in Cuttack district joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal on Saturday while the ‘Jan Jagaran Yatra’ of the grand old party was underway in the same area.

Reports said a group of about hundred dissident Congress workers including ex-sarpanch Akshaya Mallick, Youth Congress president Biswanath Samant, Anadi Charan Sethi, Dhirendra Mallick, Prafulla Chandra Samal, Mohn Hussain, Soudamini Behera, Asaf Ali Khan, Mirza Moin-ud-Din, SK Rajat, Jagannath Sethi, Sumant Kumar Jena, led by Salepur Block Congress President Bikash Behera and accompanied by BJD leader Pratap Jena arrived at the Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar and formally joined the BJD in presence of the party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

On the other hand, the Congress began its third-phase Jan Jagaran Yatra from Manoharpur in Selapur block.

As per the schedule, the Yatra would culminate at Salepur block where the party will address a public meeting.

Several senior leaders including AICC secretary and Odisha–in-charge BK Hariprasad, PCC president Prasad Harichandan, Ranjib Biswal, Cuttack City Congress President Mohd Moquim are participating in the Yatra.