With senior leader Bhupinder Singh joining the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday, speculation is rife about his candidature from the Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency.
One of the reasons behind Bhupinder’s disenchantment with the Congress leadership was its refusal to consider him as a candidate for the Kalahandi seat by denying ticket to sitting MP Bhakta Charan Das.
As the Congress high command made it clear on Friday after meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) that all the sitting MPs are likely to be renominated, there was no hope for the senior leader of getting a Lok Sabha ticket.
The senior leader, however, clarified that his joining BJD was unconditional. Asked whether he left Congress after getting assurance of a Lok Sabha ticket for the Kalahandi seat from the Chief Minister, he said, “I have made no such demand.”
Bhupinder said besides resigning from the primary membership of the Congress, he will also resign as an MLA.
Brajrajnagar MLA Anup Sai said he joined BJD for the development of his constituency. Daljeet Singh, son of Bhupinder, also joined the BJD along with his father. Sources said Bhupinder is keen that his son should get a BJD ticket for the Narla Assembly constituency, represented by him in the Assembly.
Welcoming them to the party, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said he is ‘delighted’ to have them in the BJD and they will be ‘tremendous assets’ for the party.
Describing the development as unfortunate, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) maintained that it would have no impact on the party.