Panda switched over to the saffron party along with yesteryear matinee idol Biswajit Chatterjee at the BJP national headquarters in Delhi today 18 February. Chatterjee had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Delhi on Trinamool ticket.
BJP Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, national spokesperson Sambit Patra and, Bengal election wing convener Mukul Roy were present on the occasion.
Panda was once the president of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and was then made a general secretary of the party. He was close to party chief Mamata Banerjee.
During his stint in the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, Saradha Group had appointed Panda as executive editor of one of its TV channels and for this, he allegedly received Rs 20-lakh in three years.
Taking cue of this, CBI quizzed him several times in 2015 and he allegedly submitted several documents to the agency much to the displeasure of Trinamool leadership.
This made the party to remove him as general secretary in December 2015.
On being sidelined in the party, Panda almost vanished from the political arena for the last three years.
In 2017, he briefly came in the news by directing a film on the Nandigram Movement. It was a flop.
With the Lok Sabha polls in the offing, he has now suddenly found shelter in the BJP thanks to Mukul Roy. The latter, who too is a Saradha Scam accused, was also in the Trinamool.