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  India   Politics  02 Oct 2017  Blow to Congress, Odisha leaders will join BJP

Blow to Congress, Odisha leaders will join BJP

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Oct 2, 2017, 2:05 am IST
Updated : Oct 2, 2017, 2:05 am IST

The merger comes 11 months after the demise of the senior Congress leader and less than 20 months of its inception.

Nearly half a dozen potential Congress leaders have joined the BJP and BJD since 2014.
 Nearly half a dozen potential Congress leaders have joined the BJP and BJD since 2014.

Bhubaneswar: The ever-depleting strength of the Odisha Pradesh Congress unit is likely to get further decimation as most of the prominent leaders of Lulu Sena — a youth brigade owing allegiance to firebrand Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra are set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha.

The departed leader’s daughter Upasana Mohapatra and brother Lalitendu Mohapatra are among those who are set to join the saffron party at a special function to be held here in the capital city on October 12, sources privy to the development said.

 

The merger comes 11 months after the demise of the senior Congress leader and less than 20 months of its inception.

The gradual deplete in the strength of the Congress in the state is contributing to its existential crisis and has become the driving factor for members of the outfit jumping ships.

Nearly half a dozen potential Congress leaders have joined the BJP and BJD since 2014.

Lulu Sena, the outfit set up in the name of Mr Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra aka Lulu Mohapatra was a formidable force to reckon with not only in Mohapatra’s home turf Brahmagiri but also in several other parts of the state.

With the kin of the senior Congressman joining the national party, the move will deal a massive blow to the grand old party’s fortunes in the upcoming elections.

 

Political pundits had sniffed about Lulu Sena leaders joining the BJP last month during a function felicitated by Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. at a bicentenary celebration of the 1817 Paika rebellion.

It was speculated then that the Mohapatra scion would be joining the BJP before long.

“If I would ever venture into politics, then it would be with my uncle Dharmendra Pradhan. He has done a lot for us,” Upasana had told media a month ago.

Likewise, Mr Lulu’s younger brother Lalitendu Mohapatra said that they are in talks with the members of Lulu Sena on joining hands with BJP.

“If everything works out well then we would go with the majority decision,” Mr Lalitendu said.

 

It seemed Ms Upasana would inherit her father’s legacy and set her foot into politics as a natural transition especially after Leader of Opposition in state assembly Narasingh Mishra, former OPCC chief Niranjan Mishra and other senior leader met her at the official residence to express their grief with the bereaved family.

Much to the chagrin of the Congress, the Lulu Sena members have sprung a surprise for the state leadership.

The Congress had fared badly in this year’s three-tier panchayat elections results of which gave enough ammo to the state leaders to gun for Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan’s head.

 

A section of the party grappling with infighting has been petitioning to AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi on numerous occasions for change of guards.

Tags: odisha pradesh congress, lulu sena
Location: India, Odisha, Bhubaneswar