Former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP, Jay Panda, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been appointed as the National Vice-President and spokesperson of the BJP. Earlier, Panda who represented Kendrapara constituency till his resignation from Lok Sabha last year, joined the Saffron party in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah in Delhi.
Baijayant Jay Panda has been appointed as National Vice-President and Spokesperson of BJP. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/1CGsntZWQU
— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2019
Jay Panda has been a party stalwart and associated with BJD ever since its formation in 1997. Baijayant Jay Panda, MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara had quit the party in May 2018 as he wrote to Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, “It’s with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended.” In January, he was suspended from the party due to his deteriorating relations with the Chief Minister Patnaik.
Currently, Jay Panda is serving his fourth term in the Parliament. He not only enjoys massive support in his constituency, but also has an impact on a substantial section of the Odia media. Moreover, he has a good connect with the youth as well. He enjoys a mass following on social media and has been an admirer of the policies of Modi government.
With the BJP in an upswing in the state, perhaps Panda brings exactly what the BJP needed to break into the fortress of BJD in Odisha which has been ruling the state for the last 18 years. BJP President Amit Shah, after the Tripura’s landslide victory, had said that the ‘Golden Period’ for the BJP party would not arrive till it does not manage to win in West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala. This statement shows the importance of Odisha for the BJP, whose rising popularity in the state is giving the Naveen Patnaik government sleepless nights. With Jay Panda joining the Saffron Party, it will be an icing on the cake for the Modi government in Odisha.
BJP has been on an upswing in Odisha for quite a while and Jay Panda’s coming to party fold and moreover appointed at such an important position will surely bolster its poll prospects in the state. With the Odisha legislative assembly elections due in 2019, it appears that the BJP is all set to dethrone Naveen Patnaik in the state. According to an online survey, titled “Trust of Odisha” conducted by Dailyhunt to know the pulse of the voters in which over 50,000 people participated, the BJP is all set to upset the ruling party in the state of Odisha.