Talks on in Odisha Cong to decide on candidate for Kandhamal by-poll

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 17:

With by-polls for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat scheduled for October 15, the faction ridden Congress in Odisha is engaged in a brainstorming exercise to zero in on a candidate.

Harihar Karan, the Congress candidate in Kandhamal in the last election, has opted out of the race this time
Harihar Karan, the Congress candidate in Kandhamal in the last election, has opted out of the race this time

It may be noted that Harihar Karan, the party’s defeated candidate from the seat in the last elections, has already made it clear that he is not in the race this time while alleging sabotage in the last elections.

The party’s deputy in-charge for Odisha Subhankar Sarkar will be visiting Kandhamal today to speak to the local party workers and leaders there and seek their views on the selection of a candidate for the by-polls to the Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the sudden demise of the BJD MP Hemendra Chandra Singh.

Earlier, 14 observers of the party had visited all the seven assembly constituencies coming under the Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency and had spoken to block and district committee presidents in this regard.

While former Nabarangpur MP Pradip Majhi, who was the observer for the area coming under Baliguda assembly constituency, has submitted his findings in a report to PCC president Jayadev Jena, the other 13 observers will be submitting their reports today. Sources close to Majhi said that the former Nabarangpur MP has suggested a candidate from among the local leaders be fielded for the by-election.

On receiving reports from all the observers, PCC president Jayadev Jena will hold discussions with senior party leaders of the state and will then forward the names to the high command, which will take a final decision.

Speaking to the media here, the party’s deputy in-charge of Odisha Subhankar Sarkar said; “The results of the recent bye-elections have shown that people have reposed their confidence in the Congress. A candidate selected by the state office bearers and local party leaders will get the approval of the high command”.

Sarkar said the candidate should meet the criteria laid down by the party. The candidate’s selection will go through the usual process of being approved  by the Central Election Committee before being given the final seal of approval by the high command.

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