March 30, 2019
Bhubaneswar: Sitting Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Arjun Charan Sethi and former MP Mohan Jena joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday.
Sethi, Bhadrak MP and former Union Minister, who had resigned from the BJD earlier on Saturday resenting denial of party ticket to his son Abhimanyu Sethi, joined the BJP along with his son.
BJD president Naveen Patnaik had replaced the eight-time MP from Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat with Manjulata Mandal, the wife of sitting Dhamnagar MLA Muktikant Mandal.
Former Jajpur MP Mohan Jena also joined the BJP in the presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, state in-charge Arun Singh and other senior leaders at the state party headquarters here.
Mohan Jena had quit the regional party on March 28.
Pradhan said joining of the leaders will strengthen the party.
Sethi is the fourth BJD MP, who has resigned from the party. Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi, Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh and Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari Deo have already resigned from the regional party.
Except Deo, all other MPs have joined the saffron party.
The BJP party is yet to declare candidates for four parliamentary seats –Bhadrak, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Jagatsinghpur. It has declared candidates for 17 Lok Sabha and 137 Assembly seats in the state.
Elections will be held for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats simultaneously in four phases in Odisha beginning from April 11.