Bhubnaeswar, Mar 28 : Veteran leader of Odisha politics, former minister Bijaya Mohapatra today returned to the BJP fold, forgetting all his past misunderstanding with the party leaders.
Mr Mohapatra who was earlier nominated as the chairman of the campaign committee of the party in Odisha and also appointed as member of national executive of BJP, had submitted his resignation along with party MLA Dillip on November 30 last.
Both Mr Mohapatra and Mr Ray, founding members of the BJD, joined the BJP in March 2009.
In the run up to the elections, the ruling BJD and the Congress made some futile attempts to take them into their party fold but the BJP sprang a surprise by stating that the resignation letter of both Bijaya Mohaptra and Dillip Ray have not yet been accepted by the party and they are still continuing as member of BJP.
And now ending all political speculation, Mr Mohapatra today returned to the party fold and reach the party office to attend a function on release of party posters and cassettes.
BJP national secretary and in-charge of Odisha affairs Arun Singh and BJP National vice president and party’s national spokesman Baijant Panda requested Mr Mohapatra to come to the party forgetting all his misunderstanding.
Party sources said BJP national president Amit Shah also spoke to Mr Mohapatra and requested him to work for the party.
When asked whether Mr Mohapatra will contest the Assembly elections, Mr Singh said the party will take a decision in this regard soon.
Political observers, however, felt that Mr Mohapatra is likely to contest his home constituency Patkura from where he has been elected four times in a row in the past from 1980 to 1995 elections.
He is also tipped to contest either for Mahakalpara or Kendrapara assembly seat as BJP is yet to announce the candidates for all the three assembly seats.
The joining of Mr Mohapatra, former BJD MP Baijant Panda and another political heavyweight and former BJD Minister Dr Damodar Rout who recently joined the BJP, will certainly strengthen the BJP’ s electoral base in the coastal Odisha, considered as the bastion for the Biju Janata Dal. (UNI)