After a hiatus of 3 decades, Bhakta Das to try his luck in Odisha assembly polls

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das today announced that he would contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Odisha.

“I will contest the Assembly polls from Narla constituency in Kalahandi district. I will fight the Assembly elections after several decades. I would be happy if BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decides to contest against me from Narla,” said Das, the chairman of Congress campaign committee for Odisha.

Das further revealed that the Congress party will announce its first list of candidates for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha by the first week of April.

“The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) has already shortlisted the candidates for the upcoming twin polls. The All India Congress Committee (AICC) will announce the final list of candidates for Odisha by the first week of April,” Das said.

The former Union Minister exuded confidence that the Congress party would win at least 100 Assembly seats in Odisha out of the total 147. “Our candidates lost the polls with narrow margins in at least 60 Assembly segments in the state in 2019,” Das added.

The former Union Minister also revealed that AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge and several senior leaders of the party including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi will campaign for Congress candidates in Odisha.

Notably, Das had been elected to Odisha Assembly in 1985. He got elected to the Lok Sabha thrice from Kalahandi constituency in between 1989 and 2009.

Das was the Union Deputy Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs in the VP Singh government at the Centre. He had also served as the Union Minister of State for Railways in the Chandra Sekhar government at the Centre.

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