Odisha: Former Cong leaders may return to party fold ahead of election

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 14, 2024 IST

Bhubaneswar, March 14: The ongoing discussions about a pre-poll alliance between the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have stirred uncertainty in Odisha’s political landscape. Meanwhile, Odisha Congress leaders express confidence in such an alliance for the upcoming elections.

If this alliance materializes, it could lead to some interesting developments. Leaders who previously left the Congress to join other parties might find their way back to the Congress fold before the forthcoming election.

Padma Lochan Panda, the former MLA from Simulia in Balasore district, is reportedly considering a return to the Congress. He had  switched to the BJP in 2019. Recently, his son visited the Congress Bhawan to discuss his rejoining.

Another individual, the son of a former Minister from Balasore district, is also likely to rejoin the Congress soon. Having been a member of the youth Congress earlier, he left the party due to misunderstandings and joined the BJD. Now, he seeks to return to the Congress and has initiated contact with the PCC Chief.

Discontented BJD leaders from the Soro assembly seat of Balasore,  unhappy with the sitting MLA, are also exploring the possibility of joining the Congress ahead of the upcoming election.

Not limited to Balasore or Bhadrak, disgruntled leaders from various parties across the state are eagerous to align with the Congress. They have initiated discussions with the Congress leadership in Odisha.

 Sarat Pattanayak, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president, asserts that there has been a longstanding secret and tacit understanding between the BJD and BJP. According to him, these parties have been benefiting at the expense of the state, and their open alliance will become clearer in the coming days. Therefore, their leaders are contacting Congress for joining the party.


It remains to be seen how this political landscape evolves as the election draws closer

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