BJD Leaders Defect to BJP, Allege Corruption and Decline

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BJD Leaders Defect to BJP, Allege Corruption and Decline

In a blow to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, former minister and close associate of Patnaik, Debasis Nayak, and Congress legislator Nihar Mahananda defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday. The defections occurred during a "misran parv" held at the state BJP office.

Nayak expressed discontent with the BJD, claiming that the party was now controlled by bureaucrats and had lost its original vision. He alleged that the party was importing members from other parties due to its dwindling support and predicted that numerous BJD leaders would join the BJP within the next 15 days. Nayak also praised the Modi government and predicted a BJP victory in Odisha.

Earlier on February 22nd, expelled BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi joined the BJP and accused the Naveen Patnaik-led state government of rampant corruption. He urged the public to support a "double-engine BJP government" in Odisha.