Bhubaneswar: Three days after quitting Congress, its former Nayagarh district president Kumar Hemendra Singh on Sunday joined BJD, giving the ruling party in Odisha a boost ahead of the general elections.
Singh, considered to be an influential leader from politically sensitive Nayagarh district, joined BJD along with his supporters in the presence of Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik at the party office here.
Singh had deserted Congress on February 20 accusing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who visited Odisha earlier this month, of "ignoring grassroots level leaders."
"I was deeply saddened when the special protection group (SPG) security of Rahul Gandhi pushed me aside during a public meeting a fortnight ago as I wanted to speak to him," Singh had said.
Singh claimed that even though he showed them his (security) pass and requested that he be allowed to meet Rahul, he was not allowed. Is it the reward for a hard working member of Congress, Singh asked.
Singh had also met Naveen Patnaik soon after quitting Congress, sources said.