National

Major Blow For Congress As Working President Of Odisha Quits Party To Join BJD

HARSH RANJAN | 0
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| January 16 , 2019 , 19:08 IST

Odisha, state working president and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das on Wednesday resigned from the party to join the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

It is a major setback to the Congress party ahead of elections.

He has, however, not resigned from the membership of the Odisha assembly, election to which is slated to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls this year.

Das, a two-time legislator, has sent his resignation letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is scheduled to visit the state on January 25.

In a letter to All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi, Das said he is resigning from the Congress to join the ruling BJD. He is likely to join the BJD on January 24.

"I do not have any complaint against Niranjan Patnaik, president, PCC, Odisha. I have a very cordial relationship with him... I apologize for this resignation as done so (sic) for the moto i.e development first. So I should join hands with Naveen Patnaik," he wrote in the letter.

Two days ago, when Das indicated that he would quit the Congress, Niranjan Patnaik had said it will not affect the poll prospects of the party.

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Das is a popular leader in Jharsuguda district. He had defeated BJD candidates in 2009 and 2014 assembly elections. He is also credited with ensuring Congress victory during the 2017 Zilla Parishad elections in Jharsuguda.