Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday came down heavily on the BJP for taking Damodar Rout into its party fold.
“It was the BJP that had come on the streets and burnt the effigy of Damodar Rout for his anti-women and anti-Dalit remarks and demanded his ouster from the ministry. Now the saffron party has taken him into its party fold. This speaks volume of its loss of morality,” BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra told the media here.
Earlier in the day, Dama was given a rousing welcome by the party workers soon after his arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport from New Delhi here.
Talking to reporters, he said his only mission is to unseat the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government from power. “The people of Odisha will be relieved of the BJD government, which is mired in gross misrule and corruption. I am hopeful that the people of the state will join hands with me to oust this corrupt government,” Dama added.
Asked about his willingness to contest the polls soon after his joining the BJP on Thursday, Dama had said he is willing to contest from the Balikuda-Ersama Assembly constituency. “Balikuda is my birthplace from where I have been elected MLA for the last 25 years. I am willing to contest the last election of my career from my home constituency to serve my people who have lent unstinting support to me,” he added.
From the airport, Dama was taken to the BJP party office where he will be felicitated by the senior state BJP leaders including the president, Basant Panda, Aparajita Sarangi, Bhrugu Buxipatra, Samir Mohanty, Golak Mahapatra, Suresh Pujari etc.
The veteran leader had formally joined the BJP and was welcomed by the party’s national president Amit Shah at the central party office in New Delhi on Thursday evening in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, leader of the BJP legislature party K.V. Singhdeo, BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda, Anurag Thakur and Odisha Prabhari Arun Singh.