Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda
Baijayant “Jay” Panda is an Indian politician elected twice each to the Rajya Sabha (from Odisha) and Lok Sabha (from Kendrapada, Odisha), serving 18 years in Parliament.
From a private sector background, he was involved with the foundation of the regional party Biju Janata Dal in 1997 and was its parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha for seven years. He came to be known as the face of the party nationally until his resignation from it (and from parliament) in 2018.
Jay Panda has built a reputation as one of India’s few thinking politicians, who is a familiar face on TV debates and newspaper OpEd pages as a rational, centrist voice. He is one of the most popular politicians in Odisha, with a large following among youth. A licensed pilot since his 20s, he has often flown relief and rescue missions in the aftermath of natural disasters in Odisha.