Dilip Ray likely to join BJD

Bhubaneswar: In a major political development in Odisha, former Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray visited Naveen Niwas, residence of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik , here on Saturday evening. He is likely to join the ruling BJD, party insiders said.  

The former Union Minister quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in November last year.  He had expressed unhappiness about the “inordinate delay” in the in construction of the second bridge on Brahmani River and upgrading Ispat General Hospital (IGH) into a super-speciality hospital in Rourkela, which were the much hyped poll promise of PM Narendra Modi during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

65-year-old politician had played a key role in the formation of the BJD in 1997. He was expelled from the party following differences with Naveen Patnaik in 2002.

However, Ray’s return to BJD is a homecoming for him and we will welcome him, said senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya.

In 2014 Assembly elections, Ray defeated BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak in Rourkela Assembly seat. He had also served as Rourkela MLA in 1985 and 1990. He was the Industries Minister in the Biju Patnaik government (1990-1995).

Ray was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1996 and continued to be the member of the Upper House for two consecutive terms (1996–2002; 2002–2008).  He is the only Odia parliamentarian to be part of the Ministry of three Prime Ministers

Sources said, BJD may field Ray as its candidate in Kendrapara Parliamentary constituency in the upcoming elections.

Also Read: Former BJD Leader Balabhadra Majhi Joins BJP

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