Two key detractors of Orissa CM joins BJP
Former Orissa state NCP chief Bijay Mohapatra and former MP Dilip Ray, two key detractors of Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik, on Monday joined BJP for a "collective fight to unseat the BJD Government".india Updated: Mar 23, 2009 16:11 IST
Former Orissa state NCP chief Bijay Mohapatra and former MP Dilip Ray, two key detractors of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on Monday joined BJP for a "collective fight to unseat the BJD Government".
"Both the stalwarts of Orissa politics have decided to accept the membership of BJP and repose their faith in our policies," party president Rajnath Singh told reporters in New Delhi in the presence of both Mohapatra and Ray.
The two leaders from Orissa have taken major roles in the formation of BJD and bringing the BJP-BJD alliance together.
Rajnath, however, said they will formally join the party after March 27 in Bhubaneswar.
Asked if they will be given tickets for the Lok Sabha polls, he said, "Nobody has asked for tickets. They have not laid down any conditions," he said.
Talking to PTI, Ray said Mohapatra is expected to contest the elections while he will work for the party as a member.
"Our collective fight is to unseat the BJD Government and expose Naveen Patnaik," Ray said.
Earlier they met L K Advani and held discussion with other senior BJP leaders before firming up plans on joining the saffron brigade.
Mohapatra said his objective of joining BJP is to defeat Naveen Patnaik for which he has been campaigning for over a decade.