Mumbai: Baijayant Jay Panda, who was suspended from primary membership of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in January, on Monday quit the party.
In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Panda said, "It's with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the politics into which our BJD has descended."
Panda is one of the most significant leaders of the party from Odisha. His resignation comes ahead of polls next year in Odisha.
Panda, a Member of Parliament from Kendrapara, was on January 24 suspended by BJD president and Odisha CM Patnaik for indulging in "anti-party activities".
He appeared to openly challenge the leadership after local polls.
In 2017, he was removed as the BJD's parliamentary party spokesperson over an article he wrote shortly after Panchayat or rural body polls in Odisha, alleging that the party was being run by "opportunists".
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had emerged as the second largest party in the polls, gaining at the cost of the BJD.
The rift became so deep in several months that he was hit with eggs and slippers by party workers loyal to Naveen Patnaik at a meeting.
The four-time lawmaker alleged that all this was a conspiracy by a rival leader to remove him.
BJD also ordered a probe against him on the complaint of some local leaders about his "behavior".
The party accused him of criticising the BJD, praising the opposition and campaigning against the party's candidates in the rural body elections.
However, Panda termed the allegations against him as false and baseless....