Biramitrapur MLA George Tirkey joins Congress
Bhubaneswar: Tribal leader and Biramitrapur MLA George Tirkey officially joined Congress at Delhi in presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday. Convenor of Mahanadi Bachao Andolan, Sudarshan Das also joined the party on the occasion.
A Catholic Christian and a hardline leader associated with the growing ‘Pathalgadi’ movement in rural pockets of the tribal-dominated Sundargarh, George’s possible candidature has brought the moribund Congress back to life in the district.
Though the BJP led by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and the ruling BJD are equally powerful in Sundargarh, George joining Congress is likely to create whole new equation with a close three-pronged contest in the next polls.
George had won the Biramitrapur Assembly seat in 1995 and 2000 on JMM ticket and in 2002, he joined the ruling BJD. But after being denied ticket in 2004, he had unsuccessfully fought the Sundargarh Lok Sabha election and Biramitrapur Assembly polls as Independent.
In 2009 and 2014, he was elected from Birmitrapur as Independent and eight months back, he had returned to JMM fold.