Aparajita Sarangi joins BJP: Ex-IAS, who headed Odisha capital's civic body, likely to be party's Bhubaneswar candidate in 2019

A former IAS officer joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday. Aparajita Sarangi was inducted into the party by BJP president Amit Shah at a ceremony at his home in New Delhi. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Odisha party chief Basanta Panda, the BJP's Odisha in-charge Arun Singh were also present at the ceremony.

"I have a strong value system and love to take on challenges," Sarangi said after joining the party. "Working with the BJP will give me the opportunity to pursue both. The party's motto and leaders made me choose the BJP, which not only assures development but also ensures speedy development."

"I want to work for the people on a very large scale. Politics is the only platform that provides this kind of opportunity. I strongly feel that getting into politics will provide me with a bigger platform, I'll be able to work with people of Odisha much better," Sarangi added.

In September, the 1994-batch Odisha cadre IAS officer had opted for the voluntary retirement scheme — she had been on central deputation for five years — and Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved her application on 15 November on the recommendation of the Odisha government, The Times of India reported. She retired from service 11 years ahead of schedule.

Former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi joined the BJP on Tuesday. ANI

Former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi joined the BJP on Tuesday. ANI

There is speculation that the BJP will field her as a candidate from the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha parliamentary constituency or any of the three Assembly segments in the city, given her popularity during her tenure as commissioner of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation from 2006 to 2009. While The Hindu quoted BJP sources as saying she will surely be fielded as a candidate, Sarangi claimed to be unaware of any such development.

During her tenure with the central government, she had had served as a joint secretary of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. Her term ended in August, after which she opted to voluntarily retire from service.

Before her central deputation, she had served as a secretary in several departments of the Odisha government, including textiles and handlooms, panchayati raj, school and mass education and higher education.

Sarangi, who hails from Bihar, is married to a joint secretary under the Union Ministry of Commerce, Santosh Sarangi.

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Updated Date: Nov 27, 2018 13:03:37 IST

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