After a bitter fallout with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Baijayant Jay Panda said that he was severing ties with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
In a letter to the chief minister, Panda said: "It's with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended." I would convey my decision to the Lok Sabha speaker too, he is believed to have said.
Baijayant Jay Panda's relationship with the BJD dates back to 2000 and he is one of the most important leaders in Odisha politics. It's worth mentioning here that in January, the BJD had suspended him on disciplinary grounds.
"With the BJD and you yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right to disassociate from it," he said in the letter.
The Kendrapada MP said: "It has plumbed the absolute depths of inhumanity when neither you nor anyone from the BJD turned up to pay their last respects to my father Bansidhar Panda, who as everyone knows was a very close friend, supporter and associate of Biju uncle (Biju Patnaik) for decades."
Senior Panda, a noted Odia industrialist, passed away on May 22 at the age of 87.
Panda said that he was heartbroken when several BJD leaders conveyed that they had been restrained from coming by to pay their last respects to the departed soul.
He also said he will convey his decision to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to accept his resignation upon completion of his religious obligations of bereavement.
"I've been viciously targeted, including being physically assaulted with stones, bricks and eggs last May in Mahanga. I was extremely saddened that even then you (Naveen Patnaik) did not bother to call to inquire about my health and safety," said Baijayant.
Patnaik had suspended Panda from the party for his anti-party activities on January 24.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency. Earlier, he was elected to Rajya Sabha twice on BJD ticket.
With IANS Inputs