Balabhadra Majhi, BJD MP from Nabarangpur in Odisha, on Saturday joined the BJP here. Only recently he had announced to quit the BJD. Majhi joined the BJP at the party headquarters in the presence of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and recently appointed national vice president Baijayanta Panda.
The party leaders expressed confidence that Majhi's joining will boost the BJP's prospects in the state in ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. Majhi also met BJP president Amit Shah later in the day.
Panda, a former BJD leader, joined the BJP on March 4. He had resigned from the BJD around nine months ago after differences cropped between him and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Several senior leaders from various parties have defected to the BJP in the past a few days.
Some of the high profile defections include Tom Vadakkan, a long-time aide of Sonia Gandhi who joined the BJP questioning the Congress party for its reaction to the air strike against JeM in Pakistan. TMC MP Anupam Hazda, Congress MLA Dulal Chandra Bar and CPM MLA Khagen Murmu are some of the other big names who have defected to the BJP recently.
The legislative and general elections are slated to be conducted simultaneously in Odisha in four phases between April 11 and April 29. On March 10, the Election Commission of India announced that the Lok Sabha elections will be conducted in seven phases. The results will be declared on May 23. (ANI)