ONI Bureau: We can’t confirm the news. But, there is a buzz in the political circle that senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra, who finds himself alienated from his party in the last couple of years, is all set to return to Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
If we believe the speculations and talks, he may take the plunge on March 5, Birth Anniversary of late Biju Patnaik, when curtains will come down on Biju Birth Centenary Celebrations.
Bijoy Mohapatra, once considered as the future CM of Odisha and a stalwart who was instrumental in bringing Naveen Patnaik into politics after Biju Babu’s demise, was marginalised and sidelined and then unceremoniously thrown out of the party he helped form, allegedly at the behest of late Pyari Mohan .
Ever since his ouster from BJD in 2000, Bijoy Mohapatra kept changing political sides, but never tasted success. Naveen Patnaik & Co. always ensured that he remained out of the Assembly. For the last 18 years, Bijoy Mohapata has not held any elected post. Call it an irony, conspiracy or destiny of politics, a good leader never got what he deserved.
Even the BJP did no justice to Bijoy Mohapatra. Perhaps, he was the only man in the party who knew the real pulse of BJD and its leaders. But, he was never given any plum post to take things forward. His experience and expertise were not properly utilised. And, the appointment of Basant Panda as the party’s state unit president, was the last straw that made him realise that his days in BJP were numbered.
Of late, Bijoy Mohapatra has taken a different stand from the party, its leaders and even launched a tirade on various issues. He also projected himself as a bitter critic of Dharmendra Pradhan. He is now seen more with BJD leaders than from his own party, which has abandoned him. He also keeps himself away from the party events and programmes.
And, recently his presence at the ‘The Tall Man Biju Patnaik’ book launch event, has fueled speculations that he would join the BJD sooner than later. If he returns, Bijoy Babu will definitely feel at home in BJD than any other party. But, what position and responsibilities he would get, will depend on a key factor – whether he will win back Naveen Patnaik’s trust?