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BJD splinter group merges with Congress

February 06, 2004 18:28 IST

The splinter Biju Janata Dal group in Orissa on Friday merged with the Congress citing 'frustration with the corrupt and inefficient' government headed by Naveen Patnaik.

The group is led by former Union minister Dilip Ray.

Former MP Kumudini Patnaik, former state finance minister Ramakant Patnaik and MLAs Nalinikanta Mohanty, Laxman Soren, Padma Charan Haiburu and Purushottam Naik, along with former BJD general secretary Shibananda Ray and senior BJD leader Uma Kant Nanda, were among those who came into Congress fold with Ray, a member of Rajya Sabha,

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Welcoming them, senior party leader and CWC member in charge of the state Digvijay Singh told reporters that the merger would strengthen the Congress as most of them were founder members of the ruling BJD.

Soon after the announcement of the merger in Delhi, the Congress made another gain when Dhani Ram Shandil of the Himachal Vikas Congress, a member of the dissolved 13th Lok Sabha, declared that he was joining the party saying the Congress was the only party, which could bring prosperity to Himachal Pradesh.

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