Dhamnagar By-Poll: Rajendra Das Files Nomination as Independent Candidate

Bhubaneswar: Resented over not getting BJD ticket for the upcoming Dhamnagar bypoll, party leader and former MLA Rajendra Das today filed nomination to contest the election as an independent candidate.

“I am confident about my victory as I have the blessings of my elders and support of the public,” said Rajendra Das while heading towards the Block Office, Bhadrak in a procession with his supporters for submitting nomination papers. “My aim is to serve the people of Dhamnagar. I will not withdraw my nomination. The BJD has done injustice to me. I had lost in the 2019 polls by a narrow margin due to rival group within the party,” he said and exuded hope for winning this time.

Though the BJD has already fielded Tihidi block chairperson Abanti Das as its nominee for the bypoll, Rajendra’s move is likely to affect the party’s campaign for the election. Resentment had brewed among the supporters of the former MLA after announcement of Abanti Das’ name as party’s candidate. Rajendra Das was among the frontrunners as the potential nominee of the party for the bypoll.

Following the revolt by Rajendra Das, the party had engaged several senior leaders to persuade him, but in vain. The bypoll was necessitated after the demise of Dhamnagar MLA and BJP leader Bishnu Sethi on September 19. Rajendra Das had successfully contested the Assembly Elections from the Dhamnagar constituency as a BJD candidate in 2009 by defeating Bishnu Sethi. However, he lost to Bishnu Sethi in the constituency in the 2019 Assembly Elections while contesting as a BJD nominee.

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