Business Standard, March 8, 2014
Speculations were rife for past few days that Bhupinder Singh may join BJD after he remained incommunicado for about five days on the pretext of ill health
In a major blow to the state Congress unit, Bhupinder Singh, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) and a Congress veteran today joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Along with Singh, Anup Kumar Sai, Congress MLA of Brajraj Nagar and Secretary, Congress Legislature Party also joined the ruling party.
Speculations were rife for past few days that Singh may join BJD after he remained incommunicado for about five days on the pretext of ill health last week. He even skipped the meeting of Congress screening committee held at New Delhi recently for finalisation of party candidates for the election.
Congress veteran was apparently unhappy for being cold-shouldered over his wish to contest Lok Sabha election from Kalahandi constituency which is currently represented by another senior leader, Bhakta Charan Das. Das is likely to be renominated for this seat.
Singh, at present represents the Narla constituency in Kalahandi district, in the assembly.
Joining of the Singh in BJD has once again brought to the fore the intense infighting in the Congress.
“I am delighted that Bhupinder Singh, the Leader of Opposition, Anup Sai, MLA from Brajraj Nagar and Daljeet Singh, a young leader from Kalahandi district, have all joined the BJD today. This will be a tremendous asset to the party and to the state. We will all work together for the benefit of Odisha”, announced Naveen Patnaik after the joining of the two key opposition leaders.
"I have joined BJD officially. I resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party", said the Opposition leader.
The Congress party leaders condemned the decision of Singh.