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Former Naveen Patnaik aide's daughter joins BJD


Bhubaneswar, Nov 24: Former MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra's daughter Sikta Pati has joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), party sources said.

Welcoming her on Saturday, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said she would work to strengthen the party, they said. Pati was the secretary-general of Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM), a party formed by Mohapatra following his dismissal from the BJD on charges of anti-party activities in 2012.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Mohapatra, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, was a close aide of Patnaik for several years before he fell out with the BJD boss. He is widely perceived to be the brain behind Patnaik's initial success in dealing with his rivals within the party.

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The former Rajya Sabha MP had allegedly attempted a coup against the Patnaik government in 2012 when the chief minister was on a tour to London. Shortly after, Mohapatra, along with his followers, was thrown out of the BJD.

He died on March 19, 2017. The OJM failed to make electoral gains in 2014. After joining the ruling party, Sikta said she was thoroughly impressed with the development agenda of the BJD, especially those concerning women and children. PTI AAM RMS RMS

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