Odisha: Another sitting BJD MP quits party ahead of LS polls
Bhubaneswar, Mar 30: Biju Janata Dal MP and former Union Minister Arjun Sethi Saturday resigned from the regional party after he was denied ticket to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
BJD president had replaced the eight-time MP from Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituency with Manjulata Mandal, the wife of sitting party MLA Muktikant Mandal.
The 78-year-old Sethi has submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik. He has also quit as Member of Parliament as well as from the post of Bhadrak district BJD president.
Sethi said "I wanted to meet Naveen Patnaik but was not given an appointment. I waited for four hours but failed to meet him. At this old age, it was embarrassing that I had to wait for so long."
"I am pained that neither I nor my son was given ticket to contest in the ensuing polls," Sethi told reporters.
He claimed that Patnaik had earlier assured him to consider his candidature or giving ticket to his son.
Bhadrak Youth BJD president Durga Prasanna Das, a supporter of Sethi, also resigned from the party.
Sethi, who was Union Minister for Water Resources in the A B Vajpeyee Ministry from 2000 to 2004, is the fourth BJD MP, to have resigned from the party.
Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi, Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh and Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari Deo have already resigned from the BJD.
While Panda, Majhi and Singh have joined BJP, the BJD president has not accepted the resignation of Deo. Sethi was yet to take decision on his next course of action.
Sources said Sethi may also join BJP, if the saffron party makes him a candidate from Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat. BJP was yet to announce the name of its candidate from Bhadrak (SC), Jagatsinghpur (SC), Jajpur (SC) and Mayurbhanj (ST) Lok Sabha seat.
At least five sitting MLAs have also resigned from the BJD and joined BJP following denial of renomination.
The BJD has expelled three leaders from the party for anti-party activities ahead of the polls in Odisha.
"BJD president Naveen Patnaik today expelled Siba Prasad Gouda and K Ramkrishna from Gunupur constituency in Rayagada. Besides, Kanhu Singh from Banki constituency in Cuttack district has also been expelled from the party. The trio has been expelled from the party for their indulgence in anti-party activities," BJD state secretary Bijay Nayak said in a release.