BJP’s Kharabela Swain to contest as independent candidate from Balasore Lok Sabha seat

Bhubaneswar: A day after the BJP announced its candidates for 18 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, party’s senior leader Kharabela Swain today said he will contest as an independent candidate from the Balasore Parliamentary Constituency as his name was not in the list.

Swain was hopeful that the BJP would nominate him from the constituency. However, the saffron party re-nominated sitting MP Pratap Sarangi from the seat.

Addressing a press conference, Swain said, “I will run as an independent candidate and rejoin BJP if I win. Despite contesting from Kandhamal in the previous election and expressing interest for Balasore this time, I was not granted a ticket due to certain vested interest groups. I have no plans to leave BJP, although the party has the option to expel me.”

He clarified that he would not resign from the party.

Swain had successfully contested Lok Sabha polls in 1998, 1999 and 2004 from Balasore seat as BJP candidate.

In 2019, the party had nominated him from the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, where he lost to BJD’s Achyutananda Samanta.

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