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Kendrapara district of Odisha is slated to witness a fiery Lok Sabha election as BJP's Baijayant Panda will lock horns with Odia film star and BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty. With the poll clouds having well-and-truly spread across the Indian sub-continent, Republic TV's Shivani Gupta had a heart to heart with BJP's Baijayant Panda, better known as Jay panda, to catch the pulse of the eastern state this election season.
On March 4, 2019, Jay Panda switched from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The game of initials has yet another twist: Bai-Jayant Panda can be read as the BJP. Speaking about his cross over from BJD to BJP, the leader said:
"People forget that BJD was founded with the active help of BJP, it was with BJD, with Vajpayee's, Advani's and Mahajan's blessings. We had a joint agenda against the corruption of the Congress. Moreover, the party shelters criminals. We had 50 incidents in Odisha like the Kathua rape. The crimes against women and children has risen up and I realised that I couldn't speak about it".
Piloting a chopper from Bhubaneswar to Kendrapara, his parliamentary constituency, Jay Panda said that he has been flying for over more than a decade and it's like "Yoga" for him. He also spoke about his fear of heights and how he managed to fly a chopper.
"I had a fear of heights. I did bungee jumping to get rid of it. Flying is my yoga. When I fly, I get a peace of mind," he said.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.