Bhubaneswar: Senior leader Raghunath Mohanty, who resigned from the BJD on Sunday after being denied ticket, joined BJP on Tuesday and is expected to be fielded in the Assembly polls from his home turf Basta in Balasore district.
The veteran leader joined the saffron party in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and party national vice president Baijayant Panda here.
Mohanty had quit the BJD accusing it of having deviated from the ideals of legendary leader Biju Patnaik. Mohanty was vice-president of the ruling BJD and being run by a group having vested interests.
In March 2013, Mohanty had to resign from the Naveen Patnaik Ministry and later suspended from the BJD after he was arrested in a dowry torture case slapped against him by his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury. He was denied a party ticket in the 2014 Assembly elections on this ground. He had represented Basata Assembly constituency for five consecutive terms since 1990.
However, he was reinstated in the party as the vice-president in March, 2018 and made the observer for party’s Dhenkanal district.
BJD has fielded Nityananda Sahu as its candidate from Basta Assembly segment.