Ex-MLA Ashok Panigrahy quits BJP ahead of crucial Bijepur byboll

Odisha Politics

Bargarh: The BJP on Saturday received a major jolt in the State on the eve of the Bijepur Assembly bye-elections scheduled on October 21, after senior leader and former MLA Ashok Kumar Panigrahy resigned from the party alleging negligence.

He was party’s candidate in the 2018 Bijepur by-election. He has sent his resignation to party Odisha unit president Basant Panda.

Panigrahy, who had lost the Bijepur bypoll in 2018 to Rita Sahu of ruling BJD, alleged that the party had not taken him into confidence.

Notably, after the saffron party named Sanat Kumar Gartia as its candidate for the bypoll to the Bijepur Assembly seat in Bargarh district, though Panigrahy had accused the saffron party of ignoring him but rejected the speculations of quitting the party.

Gartia had lost to BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the bypoll to the seat this year.

Bijepur bypoll was necessitated after Patnaik resigned from the seat and retained the Hinjili Assembly segment in Ganjam district, from where he has been winning since 2000.

Asked about whether he is planning to join BJP, Panigrahy said, “There is no such possibility. Neither I have contacted them (BJD) nor received any offer from them.”

He said that he decided to quit the saffron party after due consultation with his supporters.


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