New Delhi, March 14 : Former Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Damodar Rout joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, here on Thursday.

Former BJD MP Baijayant Jay Panda, who recently joined the BJP, was also present during Rout's formal induction into the party-fold.

"Rout's joining will strengthen the party in Odisha. His decades with Biju uncle (Biju Patnaik) and long years in his cabinet and also his son's did not help him against harassment when he exposed corruption at highest levels last year," he said.

Welcoming his decision, Panda said he was looking forward to working together for Odisha's revival.

Rout was expelled from the BJD last year.

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