New Delhi | Former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang, whose controversial vote during the 1999 No-Confidence Motion had contributed to the fall of the then NDA government, today decided to join BJP, saying he likes its political strategy.
Gamang, who quit Congress on May 30 after decades of association with the party, met BJP president Amit Shah here after which he announced his decision. The BJP leadership is reportedly ready to welcome the 72-year-old tribal leader and formal joining will take place in Bhubaneshwar some time later.
I have decided to join the BJP, but I will join formally soon. It will be decided by the state unit soon. I had met Amit Shah today and made my plea which has been accepted by the party leadership, Gamang said after an hour-long meeting with Shah.
Asked why he was joining the BJP, he said, I had many options but I decided to join a party where there was my acceptance. He said, BJP is a national party and now it has proved as an alternative to Congress. The way they are having their strategy in Indian democracy, I think this new concept of political strategy…I like it as it is not only to be in power but also to serve people.
Gamang had kicked up a controversy when he participated in voting on the No-Confidence Motion against the Vajpayee government on April 17,1999 despite having become the Chief Minister of Odisha more than two months earlier. Gamang had till then not resigned from the Lok Sabha and used this questionable privilege to vote against the 13-month-old NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Significantly, the Vajpayee government was defeated by just one vote. BJP had then created a hue and cry over Gamang’s participation in the voting in the Lok Sabha. Union Ministers Jual Oram, also a tribal leader from Odisha, and Dharmendra Pradhan, besides party’s secretary Arun Singh were also present during the meeting.