OTHER STATES

Four Congress leaders join BJD

Rourkela: Councillor and former chairman of the Rourkela Municipality Kalandi Badajena and three councillors, who had resigned from the Congress, joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday along with hundreds of supporters in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

The councillors who joined the BJD were Baldeb Singh, Salendra Marothia and Kalabati Mukhi.

They announced their resignation from the Congress a fortnight ago following differences with the office-bearers of the Rourkela District Congress Committee.

Two former general secretaries of the Congress – Gagan Panda and Pramod Sharma – also joined the BJD in presence of Mr. Patnaik, president of the State BJD.

Welcoming them into the BJD family, Mr. Patnaik appealed to them to work sincerely for the party at the grassroots level.

He said the time had come to strengthen the party, which would face the municipal elections this year and the Assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. – PTI

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