Bhubaneswar: Four-time MLA from Biramitrapur George Tirkey on Wednesday joined Congress in the presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.
Party State in-charge Jitendra Singh and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik was present during the joining and welcomed the Biramitrapur MLA to the party fold.
Sources said Tirkey is likely to contest from Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat general elections scheduled in 2019.
Though the BJP led by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and the ruling BJD are equally powerful in Sundargarh, Tirkey joining Congress is likely to affect the base of the VJP and BJD.
The prominent tribal leader had won the Biramitrapur Assembly seat in 1995 and 2000 on JMM ticket. In 2002, he joined the ruling BJD. But he was denied ticket in 2004.
In 2009 and 2014, he was elected from Birmitrapur as an Independent candidate and eight months back, he had returned to JMM fold.