NF Bureau: Leading Social & Political Activist and former MP of erstwhile Janata Dal, Bhabani Shankar Hota rejected Baijayant Panda’s claims that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was formed with the help of BJP in 1997.
Jay Panda claimed this while joining the BJP on March 4, adding that it was a long wait of 22 years for him, which finally became a reality.
According to Mr. Hota, BJP was trying to split the Janata Dal and amalgamate a section into the BJP. At least 3 senior leaders of Janata Dal (all three were Ex Ministers and only 2 of them are in BJD now) were working on that agenda in collaboration with late Pramod Mahajan.
“However, newly elected Janata Dal MP Naveen Patnaik was not in favour of merger with the BJP. He wanted to form a new regional party, ignoring the overture of BJP central leadership. He later formed Biju Janata Dal,” Bhabani Hota said.
“It was in the interest of BJP to join hands with BJD, as the party was in search of formidable ally. The alliance worked and helped BJP win 7 Lok Sabha seats in 1998, 9 seats in 1999 and then 38 assembly seats in 2000 – the tally BJP can’t even dream in future”, said Bhabani Shankar Hota.
Nation First News