Ex-Cong MP Madhab Sardar, supporters join BJD

Bhubaneswar: Former Keonjhar Congress MP Madhab Sardar on Wednesday joined Biju Janata Dal (BJD) along with his supporters.

Accompanied by senior BJD leader and Rural Development minister Badri Narayan Patra, Sardar and his supporters arrived at Naveen Nivas here this morning and announced his decision to join the ruling party after meeting the party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Among other Congress workers who joined the BJD today are Debasis Padhy, Binayak Rao, former sarpanch Patrana Sethi, Tapan Kumar Sethi and Prasanna Kumar Sethi.

“I was influenced by the ideals and strong leadership of Naveen Patnaik and his resolve to make Odisha a developed state. Since Odisha has made much progress under his leadership, I decided to join BJD in an effort to make Keonjhar one of the developed districts in the state,” Sardar told newsmen after joining the BJD.

Asked about the reason for quitting Congress, the former MP said; “I was in Congress since 1992. But of late, I felt that I am unwanted by my party leaders as my principles and ideals are incompatible with them,” Sardar said.

“Nevertheless, I was the Congress MP from Keonjhar for which I am indebted to their leaders,” he pointed out.

Senior BJD leader and Rural Development minister Badri Narayan Patra said the ruling party will benefit from Sardar’s immense popularity in Keonjhar.

Reacting to the resignation of Sardar, former president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Jayadev Jena said the joining of Sardar in the BJD will not have any effect on the Congress.

“All senior leaders and workers of our party have started a mission to revive the Congress in Keonjhar district. We had won all Assembly seats and the MP seat in the district for three times,” Jena told the media here.

Referring to the joining of Sardar in the BJD, he said the ruling party has taken him as it has been losing its hold in the district.

“They BJD will now say that it is able to bring Congress leaders to its party fold. The BJD cannot exist here with its mud-slinging politics.

However, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik has expressed sadness on the resignation of Sardar.

“Madhab Babu is a gentleman and dedicated worker. He was the former Congress MP of Keonjhar. I cannot say under what circumstances he changed his decision all of a sudden to join the BJD. All I can say that his resignation is a great loss to the party,” he pointed out.