New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Jay Panda, who was inducted into the BJP on March 4, has been appointed as the national vice president of the party on Friday. Panda is also given the additional responsibility of being the BJP spokesperson. 

BJP president Amit Shah giving Panda such a significant responsibility within four days of joining the party shows that he is banking big on the former BJD leader, especially as far as Odisha is concerned. 

Panda fell apart with the BJD chief and Odisha's chief minister Naveen Patnaik, after which he was completely sidelined. 

The Odisha leader recently indicated his willingness to join the BJP after which feelers were sent to him from the party. Panda had said that he would join anybody who is "committed to tackling the severe problems that Odisha now faces". 

Also read: Why Baijayant Panda’s entry makes BJP hot property in Odisha

Panda had been a BJD Member of Parliament since 2000. His troubles with Patnaik peaked when he was suspended on "disciplinary grounds" in 2017. 

Panda faced Patnaik's wrath after he appeared to openly challenge the BJD leadership following a poor performance in the local body polls in the same year. The BJP had emerged as the second-largest party in the polls. 

The Kendrapada MP also said that he didn't get 'dignity' in BJD and alleged that there was no intra-party democracy.

But now that Panda is the national vice president of BJP, it is obvious that his frustration will be used against the ruling BJD and Patnaik during the campaign in Odisha for the 2019 general election. 

The party also wants to use his expertise in communication on the television. Probably this is the reason he has been given the additional responsibility of the national spokesperson. It is expected that he will be able to defend the party in debates and talk shows, which often helps electorates to make up their minds.