Former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Sidhant Mohapatra, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), expressed confidence that the BJP will form government in Odisha as well as in the Centre in the upcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to ANI, Mohapatra said, “The first and foremost thing, it is about the ‘Asmita’ (dignity) of Odisha and all the 4.5 crore people of Odisha. The BJD used to think that everybody was a slave to them… We don’t want to be slaves. We have our own freedom… This time, we are seeing the resentment amongst the people… The BJP will undoubtedly form the government over here as well as at the Centre. Whatever the PM has spoken about, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and double-engine government, will happen in Odisha this time…”
Simultaneous elections to 147 assembly seats and 21 Lok Sabha constituencies will be held in Odisha in four phases from May 13.
Meanwhile, popular Odia filmstar and former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Akash Das Nayak joined the BJP in the presence of Odisha BJP state president Manmohan Samal at party headquarters in Bhubaneswar on March 31.
Nayak said he had joined the BJD for the development of the people of Odisha, to fulfil the vision of Viksit Bharat of PM Modi and for the development of my constituency, Korei. “In 2019, I did not get the ticket, but still I worked honestly. After working for BJD for 10 years, I have taken this decision. I have taken this decision on the advice of my supporters and seniors,” he said.

Nayak had won the Korei assembly seat on the BJD ticket in the 2014 election. He didn’t contest the 2019 poll, and later, the state government appointed him as Chairman of the ‘Mo College’ programme.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Odisha, the BJD emerged as the dominant party, securing 20 out of the 21 seats, while the BJP won a single seat.
Odisha has 21 parliamentary constituencies.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJD got the maximum number of seats, followed by the BJP and the Congress. The BJD won 12 seats, the BJP finished a close second at 8 seats and the Congress bagged just a lone seat.
The Lok Sabha elections in Odisha are set to take place in four phases. The voting dates have been scheduled for May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1.
Also, the voting for the Odisha legislative assembly will also be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4. (ANI)