Basant Panda is new Odisha BJP president

The 54-year-old legislator from Nuapada replaces Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo.

Bhubaneswar: Legislator Basant Panda was on Thursday elected unopposed as the president of Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Panda, the BJP legislative party leader in the state assembly, was declared elected uncontested as no one else filed the nomination papers for the top post of the state unit, BJP election officer Rajkishore Das said.

The 54-year-old legislator from Nuapada replaces Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo.

"Being a common worker of the party, I will take everyone with me to strengthen the BJP in the state and fight against the corrupt BJD ruling the state since last 15 years," Panda said.

He said the welfare programmes initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be highlighted across the state.

Panda has been elected twice to the state assembly in 2000 and 2014.