Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: The meeting of former MP Baijayant Panda with senior BJP leader and former minister Sameer Dey in Cuttack at a social function has warmed up the political temperature in Odisha.
Though Dey clarified that Panda’s meeting was completely personal, media reports claimed that it is regarding Panda’s joining with BJP. Talks are also doing round that the veteran parliamentarian will be the face of BJP from Cuttack Lok Sabha seat in the ensuing polls.
“Baijayant had come to attend a social function. I have a personal relationship with him and his family. I often visit his house. There is nothing to be surprised if a leader of one party meets another,” Dey said.
When asked, whether Panda is joining the BJP, the former minister said “he is a veteran politician, who has set a trend of dealing with the grievances of the people on priority. If he joins us, we would welcome him,” he added.
On the other hand, the BJD, which he denounced recently, said it will have no impact on the ruling party.
Cuttack-Barabati MLA and BJD general secretary Debasis Samantray said a person visiting someone’s house is his personal matter. In this context, Baijayant is free to give his clarification.
“Cuttack is the bastion of the BJD. Who is aspiring for what is a different matter. If Baijayant contests from Cuttack, BJD will remain unaffected” Samantray said.
Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said a person can take any decision about him. “There is no cause of action as Baijayant has resigned from the BJD. There is nothing to say as he has kept him away from the party.
Congress leader Md Moquim also echoed similar voice but in favour of his party. “BJP has no base in Cuttack as it was in third position in the last election. There will be a dual fight between Congress and BJD in the forthcoming elections. So, I don’t think Baijayant’s joining with BJP will create any differences”, he added.