Debasis Nayak, senior BJD leader and former Odisha minister, joins BJP | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Debasis Nayak, senior BJD leader and former Odisha minister, joins BJP

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Feb 25, 2024 10:04 PM IST

Debasis Nayak, once among the trusted aides of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, joined the BJP in presence of state unit president Manmohan Samal.

Bhubaneshwar: Former Odisha minister and senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Debasis Nayak, once among the trusted aides of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, resigned from the party on Sunday ahead of the upcoming state and general elections, people aware of the matter said.

Former Odisha minister and senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Debasis Nayak (Twitter Photo)
Former Odisha minister and senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Debasis Nayak (Twitter Photo)

In a letter to Patnaik, the four-time MLA conveyed his decision to resign from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect. Nayak, who earlier represented the Bari constituency, did not cite any reason to resign from the ruling BJD.

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Hours after resigning, Nayak joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in presence of state unit president Manmohan Samal. “There is Tamil rule in BJD. The party is affected by the Jayalalitha [former Tamil Nadu CM] syndrome and is no longer the same party as it used to be. It knows well that it won’t get votes. This is why it is importing people from other parties,” he said.

Nayak was elected from the Bari constituency in Jajpur district four times in a row as a BJD candidate in 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Nayak, who was once the most trusted confidante of Patnaik, served as the officer-on-special duty during his stint as Union steel and mines minister in the then Atal Behari Vajpayee-led government.

When Patnaik returned to Odisha in 2000 and became chief minister, Nayak was given a ministerial portfolio. However, in 2008, he was shunned from the council of ministers following a controversy.

In 2011, he was suspended from the party after he questioned the BJD supremo’s style of functioning and the rationale behind expelling founder-members of the party. He returned to the party again a year later. In 2019, he did not get a party ticket.

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