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Congress party leader in Odisha assembly joins BJD
Saturday March 8, 2014 8:37 PM, IANS

In a major setback to the Congress, leader of opposition in the Odisha assembly Bhupinder Singh joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Saturday along with a party legislator.

The Congress named and appointed three-time legislator Surendra Singh Bhoi who represents the Saintala constituency, as the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the state.

Bhupinder Singh, a four-time legislator, who represents Narla constituency in Kalahandi district, met Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik at his residence along with legislator Anup Kumar Sai.

"Some people with vested interests have captured the Congress organisation and that is why we decided to join the BJD," Bhupinder told reporters.

Sai, a three-time legislator from Brajarajnagar constituency and also the secretary of the Congress legislature party, said he expected to serve people better by joining the party in power.

The chief minister said the leaders will be assets for the BJD.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Jayadev Jena said the exit of both Bhupinder and Sai would not have any impact on the party. "I don't know what prompted them to join the BJD," he said.

Union minister and state Congress campaign committee chief Srikant Jena said the move would instead harm the duo.

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