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|December 15, 1997||
Biju's son splits JD in Orissa
The Janata Dal in Orissa split today with as many as 29 of the 43 party MLAs forming a new party, the Biju Janata Dal, to be headed by the late Biju Patnaik's youngest son, Naveen Patnaik, MP.
The decision was taken at an emergency Janata Dal Legislature Party meeting this afternoon.
As many as 24 JD MLAs attended the meeting which elected senior Dal leader Ram Krushna Patnaik as leader of the legislature party.
With the formation of the new group, the Janata Dal has suffered a major setback in the state.
Earlier, the party's central leaders tried their best to avoid a split in the Orissa unit and offered several proposals to the rebel Dal leaders, but to no avail.
In a bid to assuage the rebels's feelings, state JD chief Ashok Das, who also held the post of leader of the Opposition in the assembly, quit the party post.
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