BJP leader Baijayant Jay Panda
BJP leader Baijayant Jay Panda

Baijayant Jay Panda made BJP’s national vice president, spokesperson

ANI | Updated: Mar 08, 2019 18:21 IST

New Delhi (India) Mar 8 (ANI): Five days after joining BJP, former Lok Sabha member Baijayant Jay Panda was on Friday appointed the national vice president and spokesperson of the party.
Panda was earlier with Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which had suspended him for his alleged “anti-party activities” in January last year. On May 28, 2018, he ended his over 18-year long association with the BJD by quitting the party.
Panda joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Welcoming Panda into the party fold, Pradhan had said: “A new force has joined the BJP today. He has been a well-known face in both upper and lower Houses of Parliament for about 20 years. His coming to the BJP is also a testimony of growing stature of the party in Odisha.”
In his strong-worded resignation letter addressed to BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Panda had stated that he was disappointed with the kind of politics was being practiced by the party. He later resigned as a member of the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara constituency on June 12 last year.
The relation between Panda and his former party BJD further soured in September last year after the BJD workers staged a protest in Bhubaneswar, demanding his arrest for allegedly flying his chopper over an “eco-sensitive zone” in Chilika Lake.
Panda, who also describes himself as a helicopter pilot and columnist, has often heaped praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the policies of Central government policies. (ANI)