Will Damodar Rout Return To BJD?

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Bhubaneswar: Traditionally, veteran leader Damodar Rout has been a Janata Dal loyalist since he was brought into the politics by the legendary Biju Patnaik. Rout, a veternary doctor, achieved remarkable success as a politician getting elected to the Odisha Assembly 7 times and getting ministerial berths on multiple occasions.

This was all till he fell apart with the BJD and switched to the BJP before 2019 elections. The saffron party planned to strengthen its position in the coastal heartland of Odisha by fielding Rout from Balikuda-Erasama in the Assembly elections.

But destiny had other plans. Rout lost the elections standing third, which was a major setback both for him and the party. Now, the rumour mills are abuzz that Rout is seemingly dissatisfied within the saffron fold. There is also a speculation that the veteran leader is contemplating a comeback to the Biju Janata Dal.

But it all depends on the party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Rout has apparently been an unbeaten leader in electoral politics. However, his fortunes dwindled during in the 2019 elections. He finished third.

Damodar Rout and the Janata Dal parivar are inseparable. His ouster was under unfortunate circumstances and the people of Odisha somehow could not accept him in the BJP, said Rout's son, Sambit Routray.

"Victory and loss goes hand in hand in politics. A single electoral cannot corner a giant leader like Dama Babu. He is in no way a disposable leader," Routray added.

"I have a feel that he is not happy in the BJP and might return to the BJD. But this will entirely depend on the our party's high command and my father's decision," said Routray.

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Sambit Routray, MLA, Paradeep