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BJD Faces Rebel Jolt

Bhadrak: For the first time in any by-election for Assembly seat, the Governing Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is facing a rebel jolt in by election to Dhamnagar (SC) Assembly constituency.

After denying party ticket for the by-poll, former BJD MLA Rajendra Kumar Das on Friday filed his nomination as an independent candidate for November 3 by election. The BJD has officially nominated Abanti Das as its candidate for the Assembly seat.

Both Abanti Das and Rajendra Das came in two separate processions with their supporters and filed their nomination with the Sub Collector Bhadrak on the last day of nomination.

Mr.Das said he had filed his nomination as an Independent after the BJD did not give him a ticket to contest the by elections. He claimed that he had the support of the people of Dhamnagar and hoped to win the election.

“I lost the 2019 elections narrowly (to BJP’s Bishnu Charan Sethi) as a group conspired against me. I will fight the by-election with the blessings of the people, especially elders, to serve Dhamnagar,” Mr.Das said.

“People have their sympathies with me. I am confident of a win,” Mr.Das said.

Rajendra Kumar Das who had won the Dhamanagar Assembly seat on BJD ticket in 2014 but lost to Bishnu Charan Sethi of BJP by a margin of 4625 votes in 2019 election will be a strong contender for the seat this time.

The seat fell vacant following the demise of sitting BJP MLA Bishnu Sethi on September 19 last.

The Governing BJD on Wednesday had announced the name of Tihidi Block Chairperson Abanti Das as its candidate for the by-election and Rajendra had agreed to support Abanti after several party leaders including BJD Organisational Secretary Pranab Prakash Das had pacified him.

But, later. he went back on his stand and announced to contest the election as an independent candidate. Meanwhile, worried BJD rushed its senior party leaders to Dhamnagar to resolve the issue but failed. 

BJD Lawmaker and District Observer Pranab Balabantray said the filing of nomination by Rajendra Kumar Das would have no impact on election results. He said party candidate Abanti Das will win the by-election.

The BJP has named Suryavanshi Suraj, son of deceased Bishnu Charan Sethi as the party candidate for the by-election and he has filed his nomination on October 10 and already started campaigning in the constituency.

On the other hand, the Congress has fielded its party president for Dhamnagar Block SC Cell Baba Harekrushna Sethi as its candidate for the seat. Mr.Sethi filed his nomination paper on October 13 in the presence of several senior party leaders.

If Rajkishore Das does not withdraw his papers, BJP will definitely benefit from internal fights within BJD. As October 17 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature, the real fight for the by-poll will be known after the deadline.

For the by-poll, polling will be conducted on November 3 next and counting of votes and declaration of results will be made on November 6 next.