Here’s what Dilip Ray says after getting Assembly ticket from Rourkela in Odisha

Rourkela: The BJP today named Dilip Ray, the former union minister and MLA, as its Assembly candidate from Rourkela in Odisha’s Sundargarh district.

The BJP leader, who was convicted in a coal scam case earlier, was assumed to be the BJP’s candidate from Rourkela after the Delhi High Court stayed his conviction allowing him to contest the forthcoming elections in May in Odisha.

“I am delighted to have been shortlisted to contest the elections from Rourkela on the BJP ticket. I express my gratitude to my party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for putting trust in me for one more time,” Ray told reporters after the BJP released its second list of candidates for 21 Assembly Constituencies in Odisha today.

He promised to stand with the people of Rourkela and focus on the developmental projects in the city, hinting the forthcoming polls will be ‘challenging’.

“Like previous years, the election will be challenging this time too. I will fight on the local issues of Rourkela with a promise to ensure peace for the residents of the city. If I win, I will pave way for corporation election, which has not been held in last 12 years in Rourkela,” he said.

Dilip Ray, the former Union Minister of State for Coal, was elected to Odisha Legislative Assembly in 1985 from Rourkela. He was re-elected to Assembly from Rourkela in 1990. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1996 and continued to be the member of the Upper House for two consecutive terms from 1996 to 2002 and 2002 to 2008. He had played a major role in foundation of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which was formed in 1997 after breaking away from the Janata Dal (JD) following death of former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.

He joined the BJP following his expulsion from the BJD. He won the Assembly election from Rourkela on the BJP ticket in 2014. However, he remained inactive in politics since 2018.

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