Congress still grapples to finalize candidate for Bijepur bypoll


Bhubaneswar: While the BJD has already announced its nominee Rita Sahu who will file her papers on February 5 for the Bijepur bypoll scheduled to be held on February 24 and BJP’s contestant Ashok Panigrahi has already filed the nominations papers on Friday, the Congress is still grappling with infighting in selecting its candidate.

Party insiders said Congress is likely to announce a name on February 5, a day before the last date to file nominations on February 6. Sources said though the party had almost finalized Pranay Sahu (Gaisilat block vice-chairman), a section in the party is pushing for Ripunath Seth, who had won the seat on a Congress ticket in 1995.

“This is the reason why a second committee under former chief minister Hemananda Biswal was formed though another committee led by MLA Naba Kishore Das had already given a report in support of Sahu,” a Congress leader said.

Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das said the six-member committee headed by Biswal, which was entrusted to recommend prospective names for the bypoll, has recommended names of Pranay Sahu and Ripunath Seth. The party leadership will finalize one name soon. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan said there is no infighting in party regarding the Bijepur candidate.

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