Senior Politician Damodar Rout Quits BJP

Damodar Rout, a senior BJP leader resigned from the position of primary membership of the party, claiming that he was not being involved in party activities prior to the Bijepur Assembly by-poll in Odisha on October 21. Interestingly, Rout had joined the BJP in March after being expelled from the ruling BJD for alleged anti-party activities.

“I feel that the party does not require my involvement in its political programmes and the policy-making process after the general elections. This has hurt me,” said Rout. Furthermore, he has stated that he wouldn’t be joining any other party now, which led many to believe that this was Rout’s final farewell to politics.

In his long career, Rout has been a member of the Odisha Assembly for seven-terms as an MLA from Ersama and Paradip, in addition to having served as health and agriculture minister in BJD governments led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. To his dismay, he lost the 2019 polls from Balikuda-Ersama Assembly constituency representing BJP for the first time. However, his son Sambit Routray, won his old constituency, Paradip, on a BJD ticket.

Arun Singh, the Odisha BJP in-charge said, “He used to participate regularly in meetings. Every worker should do this without waiting for an invitation. The party belongs to every Karya-Karta. People come and go.”

Notably, not just Mr Rout, former MLA Ashok Kumar also departed from the saffron party ahead of the Bijepur by-poll.