Bhubaneswar: Two days after his clarification that he is not quitting his party, Congress working president and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das created a ripple in political circle by hinting at joining the BJD ahead of 2019 election.
Talking to a TV channel, Das said that people of Jharsuguda want him to contest from BJD. , “My supporters want me to fight the 2019 elections on BJD ticket and I will do what my people want,” he said.
Though he has not fixed a particular date for joining the regional party, he indirectly hinted January 24 as the day of his joining BJD during party supremo and CM Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Jharsuguda to inaugurate a cancer hospital. “I will welcome the CM and accept the wish of the people of my constituency”, he added.
Das further maintained that he respects Congress president Rahul Gandhi and state unit chief Niranjan Patnaik but he has no specific reason to quit grand old party.
The State unit of Congress would received a severe jolt if Das joins the BJD ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s Odisha visit.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress leader had said he will fight the upcoming elections with a Congress ticket.
Senior BJD leader and former Speaker of Odisha Assembly Kishore Mohanty, once a rival of Naba Das in 2014, said there is no trust on Naba Das as he is a habitual decision changer.
“Das changes his decision an hour-to-hour basis. There is no trust on him. Many people are coming to BJD. If he joins, what is new in it?
“I have been a disciplined soldier of BJD since 1977. I have been working on the basis of Biju Babu’s ideology. I will accept what our party chief will decide. But, I have no information regarding Naba Das’ joining BJD,” added Mohanty, who had lost to Naba Das in 2014.
Former chief minister and Congress Discipline Committee chief Hemananda Biswal said “It is his personal choice. We have nothing to comment on it.”
Das’ claim of people wanting him to contest from BJD is false, Biswal added.