Bhapur: A total of four candidates, including three nominees from the BJD, the Congress and the BJP, have filed nomination papers to contest elections from the Khandapada Assembly constituency.
While BJP candidate Siddhartha Sekhar Singh and Independent candidate Dusmant Kumar Swain had filed nominations earlier, BJD nominee and Rajya Sabha member Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Congress candidate Basanta Kumar Moharana presented papers on Thursday.
In fact, dissidence brewed in the Khandapada BJD soon after Patnaik’s name figured in the party’s Assembly list. Sitting BJD MLA Anubhab Patnaik and Bhapur block chairperson Gayadhar Parida reportedly decided to quit the party and file nominations as Independent candidates for the Kandapada seat. However, Soumya Ranjan managed to convince them not to quit the party for his sake.
Notably, Soumya Ranjan was a candidate from his Aam Odisha Party for the seat in 2014. Anubhab had defeated Soumya Ranjan by a mere 601 votes.
However, political scenario has changed this time with last year’s opponent Soumya Ranjan grabbing a BJD ticket for the seat.
On Thursday, Soumya Ranjan came in a rally of about 10,000 people and filed nomination papers. Anubhab and Bhapur block Chairperson Parida were present.