NEW DELHI: According to the media reports, Baijayant (Jay) Panda, who was suspended from primary membership of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in January today quit the party.
Panda, a Member of Parliament, was on January 24 suspended by BJD president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik for indulging in “anti-party activities”. Later that month he was asked to quit, which he has only done today. In a letter to Patnaik informing him of his decision to quit the party, Panda said he’s “deeply anguished”.
“It’s with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended,” wrote Panda, adding that he’ll soon formally convey his decision to the Lok Sabha speaker.
Ever since the BJD suspended Panda + for alleged anti-party activities, there has been speculation that he may quit the party that he helped form, given his bitterness with chief minister Patnaik’s trusted IAS officer VK Pandian. The point of no rapprochement became obvious when Naveen and BJD leaders did not pay respect to Panda’s father Bansidhar Panda who died on May 22. Bansidhar Panda, who founded the IMFA Group, is revered as a key architect of industrialization in Odisha.
“I was heart-broken when several BJD colleagues conveyed that they had been restrained from coming by to pay their last respects to the departed soul. That the BJD doesn’t me anymore, and in fact wants me out, is now irrefutably clear. I have stoically borne many humiliations over the past four years, but this is the last straw, it is now beyond my self-respect to continue to be associated with the party in an atmosphere as mean minded as this,” the 54-year-old Kendrapada MP wrote in his resignation letter to Patnaik.
Panda, a four-time MP, used to be BJD’s face in Delhi till he was sidelined in Naveen’s current term.