Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 21:
Ahead of by-polls in the Kandhamal parliamentary seat of Odisha, former MP from the seat Rudra Madhav Ray today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fuelling speculation that he could be the party candidate from the seat, which goes to polls on October 15.
Ray joined the party here this evening in the presence of state BJP president KV Singhdeo, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, party in-charge for Odisha Arun Singh and several senior leaders of the party.
Ray, who was elected BJD MP from Kandhamal in the 2009 elections, was suspended from BJD for anti-party activities during the 2014 polls. He was said to have supported Congress candidate Harihar Karan after being denied the party ticket during the polls held in April this year.
“He is likely to be party candidate for the seat. The name was also proposed by the central leadership. We will recommend his name to the Central Parliamentary committee, which will give its final approval over his candidature,” said a senior BJP leader.
In a related development, senior leader Bijay Mohapatra was today appointed the campaign committee chairman of the party for the by-polls at its executive meeting today.
Meanwhile, PCC president Jaydev Jena has moved to New Delhi with a list of 20 Congress leaders keen to contest from the seat.