Baijayant Panda quits Biju Janta Dal amid rift with CM Naveen Patnaik
Senior Biju Janta Dal (BJD) leader Baijayant Jay Panda on Monday quit the party and yet to send his the Lok Sabha Speaker on Monday.
MP from Odisha's Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency, Baijayant Jay Panda, wrote to BJD chief and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, saying, "It's with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended."
Panda was suspended from the party in January and Patnaik due to his 'cold war' with CM Naveen Patnaik. The party suspected that Panda was veering towards the BJP.
While announcing Panda's suspension, BJD vice-president, SN Patro said, "Sri Panda has been directly and indirectly indulging in activities aimed at weakening BJD, whether it is the parliament, state, constituency or media space - no opportunity was missed by Panda to criticise BJD and eulogise the opposition. His claims of being a founder member of BJD are totally false."
Last week, BJD President and CM Naveen Patnaik drew flak for not turning up to pay homage to Baijayant Panda's father. Doyen of Odisha Industry, Dr. Bansidhar Panda, passed away at the age of 87. According to reports, while the CM sent a condolence message through the press, neither he nor any BJD leaders or Ministers bothered to visit the departed leader.
Baijayant 'Jay' Panda is currently serving in his 4th term in the Parliament of India. He was elected to his second term (2014 - 2019) in the Lok Sabha (House of the People) from Kendrapara Constituency, Odisha. Earlier, Jay Panda had been elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2009 as well as twice earlier to the Rajya Sabha (parliament's other house, the Council of States) in 2000 and 2006, also from the State of Odisha.
Panda cliamed that he is one of the founding members of the Biju Janata Dal, whose Founder President is Naveen Patnaik, currently serving in his fourth term as Chief Minister of Odisha.