In a development that did not come as a surprise to political pundits, former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Jay Panda joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday.

Panda, a four-time Member of Parliament, was inducted into the saffron fold by Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Juel Oram at an event in New Delhi.

“Nine months of introspection & widespread consultations w/colleagues & public. Grateful for support recd from all over,” he tweeted on Monday.

“On auspicious #MahaShivratri I’ve decided to join @BJP4India & work under the leadership of @narendramodi Ji to serve Odisha & India to the best of my ability,” Panda added in the tweet he posted following the official induction.

 

Panda later called on BJP president Amit Shah.

In 2014, Panda was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara constituency of Odisha. Four years down the line, difference between him and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik led to Panda’s suspension from the BJD for on 24 January 2018.

The BJD said that Panda was suspended for “anti-party activities”.

On 28 May 2018 Panda quit the party, two weeks after he tendered his resignation as the Lok Sabha member.

Panda has twice represented his state in the Rajya Sabha between 2000 and 2006.

One of the founding members of the BJD, Panda worked in the corporate sector before joining politics.