BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi files nomination

Bijepur by-poll: BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi files nomination

Bhubaneswar: BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi on Friday filed his nomination papers for the Bijepur assembly by-poll in Odisha’s Bargarh district.

Panigrahi filed his nomination papers at Padampur Sub-Collector office in Bargarh district in the presence of party State chief Basant Panda and other senior leaders Odisha.

Panigrahi reached the Sub-Collector’s office in a grand procession amid hundreds of his supporters. Panigrahi, a former BJD MLA, had quit the party to join BJP after he was denied a ticket by the ruling party to contest the by-poll.

The constituency will go to polls February 24. The seat had fallen vacant following the death of Congress MLA Sahu on August 22 last year.

Meanwhile, BJD candidate Rita Sahu will file her candidature on Saturday.

Rita and her two sons had joined the BJD, along with their supporters in September last year.

The by-election for the Bijepur assembly seat will be held on February 24. The notification will be issued on January 30 and February 6 is the last date for filing nomination papers. Counting will be held on February 28.

The ensuing byelection assumed significance as its outcome could set the tone for the 2019 assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

A part of Bargarh district in western Odisha, Bijepur has been a stronghold of the Congress. Subal Sahu was thrice elected from the seat on a Congress ticket.