New Delhi: Ending speculation over his political future, expelled BJD leader and former state minister Damodar Rout joined the BJP here Thursday in the presence of senior leaders.
Immediately after joining, Rout informed that he will contest on a BJP ticket from the Erasma assembly constituency in Jagatsinghpur district.
Rout said that he had taken a long time before deciding to join the BJP. “Finally, after a lot of mental exercise I joined the BJP today. I’m an old person, I have spent more than 45 years in public life, more than 35 years in the Odisha Assembly. I served as minister for more than 20 years. But then what happened which prompted me to join the BJP? The BJD has forgotten the ideology of Biju (Patnaik) babu. Corruption has increased in the state,” stated Rout.
The former state minister also launched a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “He has no love for people of Odisha. He doesn’t even speak in Odia after so many years. As a minister, it was my duty to speak against corruption but the CM didn’t support me. Instead he alligned with those involved in corruption,” Rout said..
Rout was expelled from BJD after he was accused of making anti-party statements.