BJP leader Nilamani Samal along with supporters joined ruling BJD

Bhubaneswar: BJP leader Nilamani Samal along with his supporters joined the ruling BJD under the leadership of local MLA Debasis Nayak on Thursday. He was the BJP candidate for the Bari Assembly seat in the 2014 general elections. BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed Samal and his supporters to the party fold at the Naveen Niwas here.

He said, “Due to the Central Government’s callous attitude towards the Mahanadi issue, the BJP’s image has been tarnished in the State. It became difficult for me to work in a party like this; and so, I joined the BJD.”

Among others, Finance Minister Shashi Bhushan Behera, MP Prasanna Patsani, MLA Pranab Prakash Das and former Chilika BJD MLA Raghunath Sahu were present.