Veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra gets back to BJP fold, geared to take party responsibilities

Bhubaneswar: In what could boost the poll prospects of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha, senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra who had resigned from BJP on November 30 last year, made a comeback to the party today.

The development took place after BJP Vice-President Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda and State party In-charge Arun Singh met Mohapatra at his Bhubaneswar residence.

Speaking to media after his homecoming to the saffron party, Bijoy said he took the decision to return to BJP after talking to party’s national President Amit Shah and other senior leaders of the party.

“We will work together for the development of the country putting aside all old differences and with elections round the corner, we are committed to bring about a change (parivartan) in Odisha,” Bijoy said.

Asked whether he would contest the 2019 polls, the former minister clarified that he would accept the responsibilities that the national committee of the party bestows on him.

Welcoming back the senior leader to the party fold, Jay Panda said, “For the development of Odisha and the country, I had requested him (Bijoy) to let bygones be bygones.”

Similarly, party State In-charge Arun Singh said Bijoy’s inclusion will boost the party’s poll prospects. “As far as Kendrapara constituency, is concerned, Singh said the BJP will come out with flying colours in the elections in Kendrapara segment. Our party’s Lok Sabha candidate Jay Panda is certain to win the election by much better margin than during the last polls and create record in Kendrapara”

Meanwhile, political experts speculate that after induction of several leaders into the party fold recently, Bijoy’s homecoming to BJP could significantly spur the saffron party’s chances of Mission 120+ in the upcoming elections in Odisha.

Responding to Bijoy’s return to the saffron party, BJD MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak who defeated the former during the last elections to Mahakalpada Assembly constituency of Kendrapara, said that it would not have any impact on the ruling party’s poll prospects.

“You must have seen how the people of the constituency had reflected their mood through the mandate during the past elections during 2004, 2009 and 2014. The same thing will happen once again,” said Nayak.