Uma gain in Oram loss

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 1.05.06

Bhubaneswar, April 30: Less than an hour after its minister Pradipta Nayak resigned from the Naveen Patnaik ministry, the Orissa unit of the BJP saw two senior leaders quit to join Uma Bharti?s Bharatiya Janshakti Party.

Arabinda Dhali, a former transport and cooperation minister and two-time MLA from Malkangiri district and Ramachandra Panda, former deputy Speaker of the Assembly, faxed their resignation to state BJP president Juel Oram before leaving for Ujjain yesterday.

Before leaving for Ujjain, Dhali said both Panda and he decided to resign from the BJP?s primary membership because they felt the party had ?drifted? away from its ideology and had started to believe in ?family rule?.

Accusing the state leadership of favouritism, Dhali said it was proved during the recent Rajya Sabha polls.

Dhali said the party denied him a ticket to the Upper House as he was a defeated candidate in the last Assembly polls. But at the same time it renominated Rudra Narayan Pani, a party leader who had been defeated twice in the Lok Sabha polls and nominated Bhagirathi Majhi, who, too, had lost in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Mayurbhanj.

Alleging that senior leaders were being ignored in the party, Dhali said: ?That?s why we decided to quit.?

Panda, who represented Chhatrapur Assembly constituency in Ganjam, reached Ujjain today to meet Uma.

The former deputy Speaker told the correspondent over phone that humiliation (by the BJP) was responsible for his decision to quit.