In a major embarrassment for BJP Odisha unit president Basant Panda, his nephew Harischandra Panda Saturday joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Mr Harischandra said he joined BJD after being inspired by the developmental works done by BJD government headed by Mr Patnaik.
The chief minister said "Harischandra's inclusion in the BJD will strengthen the party."
Mr Harischandra accused his uncle Basant Panda of working for BJP and not for the state's development. "My uncle also maintains an autocratic attitude," he said.
The BJP state president denied his nephew's allegation and said that he (Harischandra) is a grown up person and he has the right to take his own decision.
"Above all Harischandra is not my son. Even my son is free to take his own decision," Panda said.
A week back former former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Hemanada Biswal's daughter Sunita Biswal had joined the BJD.
Polling for the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 Assembly constituencies in Odisha will be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
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