Veteran politician and former Minister Bijoy Mohapatra, who had resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) four months ago, returned to the party on Thursday.

The development took place after BJP vice president Baijayant Panda and state BJP in-charge Arun Singh met Mohapatra at his Bhubaneswar residence.

During their visit, BJP president Amit Shah also had a telephonic conversation with Mohapatra.

Mohapatra said he took the decision to return to the saffron party after talking to Shah and other leaders of the party.

“We will work together for the development of the country putting aside all old differences. As elections are approaching, we have decided to intensify our campaign and contest unitedly to bring change in Odisha,” he said.

Mohapatra further said that the party leadership would decide on his candidature to contest the Lok Sabha elections.

Mohapatra along with former Union minister Dilip Ray had resigned from the BJP on November 30 alleging that they were sidelined in the party.

It was speculated that both the leaders would return to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of which both were founding members. In 2000, Mohapatra was expelled from the BJD.