After meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his official residence, she said she had resigned from the Congress and joined his BJD. The Congress has re-fielded Gomango, 71, from Koraput which he represented for nine consecutive terms since 1971 but was defeated in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Chief minister for 10 months in 1999, Gomango also represented the Laxmipur assembly constituency in Koraput district 1995-2000. Hema Gomango made her political debut by winning the Koraput seat in 1999 after her husband vacated it to become chief minister.
She was elected to the assembly from Laxmipur in 2004, but lost the seat in 2009.
Gomango said he did not know why his wife joined the BJD. "I don't know why she quit the Congress. She can only tell," he said.