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Odisha: BJD legislator Arabinda Dhali, ex-IAS officer Hrusikesh Panda joins BJP

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Bhubaneswar, March 3 (IANS) The influx of senior ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued in Odisha as several ruling party leaders, including a sitting BJD MLA, Arabinda Dhali, joined the BJP in a programme at the party's state office here on Sunday.

Jayadev MLA Dhali had been elected to the state assembly thrice from Malkangiri constituency on a BJP ticket. He later joined the BJD and won the Jayadev assembly constituency twice, in 2009 and 2019.

Targeting the BJD, Dhali on Sunday said "the current regime is no longer good for the state and the BJP will come to power in the state in the coming days".

"People are suffocated in the state and there is no democracy left in the BJD currently. Senior leaders never get their due respect in the BJD. Parallel candidates are being put in the fray against the sitting MLA," said Dhali.

Former Malkangiri MLA, Mukunda Sodi, also joined the BJP on Sunday.

Besides, a 1979-batch IAS officer and a prolific writer, Hrusikesh Panda, also joined the BJP on Sunday.

Panda, who hails from Bhadrak district, held several top posts in both the Union and state governments during his long bureaucratic career.

Meanwhile, retired Air Marshal, Dilip Kumar Patnaik on Sunday also joined the BJP.

The BJD on the other hand targeted opposition BJP saying that it failed to create new leaders and instead relied on leaders expelled from the BJD.

--IANS

gyan/pgh


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