Deo replaces Oram as Orissa BJP chief
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After months of uncertainty on leadership in Orissa, the BJP on Sunday appointed four-time MLA from Bolangir district and erstwhile royal of Patna State, Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, as the new state president replacing Jual Oram.
Deo, 56, is also the leader of six-member BJP Legislature Party. The BJP leadership chose Deo ignoring BJP national general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan and state leaders Nayan Mohanty and Basant Panda. It was an unanimous decision, said a BJP source.
The BJP in Orissa has been rudderless for quite some time as Juel Oram's term as the state unit president ended in December last year. As the BJP national leadership struggled to choose a new leader, Deo resigned from the post of BJP Legislature Party chief in August to put pressure. However, his resignation was not accepted.
The party which since 1997 had been a partner with the ruling BJD, suffered a major setback in 2009 when Naveen Patnaik decided to go alone on the eve of Assembly polls. From 32 seats in 2004 Assembly polls, the party was reduced to six seats. Since then its electoral fortunes have dwindled in subsequent elections, including 2012 panchayat elections.
Party sources said Deo's appointment as BJP chief in Orissa would instill a sense of purpose in the party, which is riven with dissension.
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