BJP Or BJD? All Eyes On Bijoy Mohapatra’s Next Move

Bhubaneswar: Elections are around three weeks away and veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra seems to be in no hurry to steer the wheel of his political career.

On November 30, Mohapatra, along with another BJP national executive member Dilip Ray, had resigned from the party. The 70-year-old veteran had then regretted his decision to join the saffron party in 2009.

The BJP, however, has not accepted his resignation and wants him to contest the upcoming elections either from Patkura or Mahakalapada assembly constituencies. New entrant to BJP Baijayant Panda and senior party leader KV Singh Deo are reportedly holding parleys with Mohapatra to get him onboard. The senior politician, however, is yet to make up his mind on these offers.

In 2014 elections, Mohapatra had unsuccessfully contested from Mahakalapada assembly segment on BJP ticket and lost to BJD’s Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak by over 23,000 votes.

Mohapatra was removed from Kendrapara district committee of state BJP in December 2017 and sidelined by the party thereafter. He is also known to share no great rapport with Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

On the other hand, the BJD is yet to give him any clear-cut proposal, sources said.

Mohapatra, who was a powerful minister in the Biju Patnaik government in the early 1990s, is a founding member of BJD but was ousted from the Naveen Patnaik-led party in 2000.

He subsequently floated a regional outfit, Orissa Gana Parishad, in 2001 and later merged it with Sharad Pawar’s NCP. He joined BJP after NCP entered into a pact with the BJD for the 2009 polls.

“I am consulting my supporters and well-wishers. Depending on their wishes, I will take a decision,” he told Odisha Bytes.

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