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Samir Mohanty elected Odisha BJP president
Bhubaneswar, Jan 16 - Senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty was on Thursday elected unopposed as the president of the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The central observer for the organisational polls, Narendra Singh Tomar, announced Mohanty's name as the new state BJP president at the party headquarters here.
He will take charge as BJP president on Friday, Tomar said.
Samir Mohanty, who has been the state vice-president of the BJP since 2016, was the only candidate who filed his nomination paper for the top party post in the state.
Mohanty had support from district presidents and state party council members, party sources here said.
Mohanty will replace Basant Panda, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kalahandi in the 2019 general elections.
Senior party leaders, including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state party in-charge Arun Singh, MPs and MLAs were present on the occasion.
The decision to elevate Mohanty is seemingly aimed at strengthening the party base in coastal Odisha, where the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has maintained its dominance in the last three assembly elections.
Samir Mohanty started his political career in the ABVP student wing before joining the BJP in 1995. He has earlier held several positions in the state BJP. Mohanty had earlier once lost the Assembly elections from the Ekamra-Bhubaneswar constituency.
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