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Senior Odisha BJP leader Damodar Rout quits party

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Bhubaneswar: Senior Odisha BJP leader Damodar Rout on Wednesday resigned from the primary membership of the party alleging that he was ignored in the policy making process of the party.

In a letter to state BJP president Basant Panda, Rout maintained that his presence was no longer required in party meetings and decision making.

"It is very sad to realise that my presence in the party programmes and decision making is no longer required. It has led to deep mental imbalance in me," informed Rout.

Rout, a former state minister, had joined the BJP in March this year after being dismissed from the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Rout said he was being forced to retire from active politics for not being relevant in the party.

"After becoming MLA in the state assembly for 35 years and serving as minister in the state cabinet six times, my redundancy in the party is forcing me to retire from active politics," said Rout.

Rout had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 polls on a BJP ticket from the Balikuda-Ersama Assembly constituency.

"Everyone is equal in our party, nobody was ignored. Everybody including Prime Minister is a leader as well as party worker," said state BJP president Panda.

Damodar Rout's son and BJD MLA Sambit Rout said it was a wrong decision by his father to join the BJP.

"When BJP was in a difficult situation they called my father. I had tried to stop him but he didn't listen," said Sambit.

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