High profile Odisha politician and former MP Baijayant Panda, who resigned from the ruling Biju Janata Dal last year, is likely to join the BJP in New Delhi on Monday, it is learnt.
Reliable sources said Panda, who had been kept waiting for over six months now, managed to finally get the nod with the help of a few industrialist “friends”.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is currently in Odisha, is scheduled to reach Delhi on Monday before Panda’s induction is given the final seal of approval.
According to reports, Panda met BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday, Pradhan was present in the meeting.
It may be noted that Panda had fallen out of favour of BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and had been suspended from primary membership of the party in January 2018 for “anti-party activities”. He had been bitterly critical of the BJD, particularly an officer of the CM’s Office. Goons have infiltrated the party, he had alleged. The former Kendrapara MP resigned from the party in May 2018.
Panda later resigned from the Lok Sabha, and ever since lobbying hard to join the BJP. Of late, he had been showing signs of frustration, as he even commented that the BJP was committing the same mistake as the Congress did by being “soft” towards the BJD.
Sources close to him say Panda had virtually given up hope and was also in touch with central Congress leaders in the recent months.
Baijayant Panda also said recently he was willing to join hands with anybody “committed to tackling the severe problems that Odisha now faces”.