Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 26:
Senior BJD leader and former minister Raghunath Mohanty, who was denied the party ticket for the ensuing Assembly elections, is most likely to contest from Basta as independent candidate, sources close to him said.
Mohanty, however, has not owned up to any such move so far.
Mohanty was denied the BJD ticket in view of the allegations of dowry torture levelled on him by his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury.
Mohanty’s supporters were disappointed after the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik struck off his name from the final list of candidates on Monday.
According to reports, a meeting was held at the residence of Mohanty till 10 pm last night where his supporters urged him to file his nominations. Sources close to the former Basta MLA said he agreed to contest as independent candidate only if he got the support of the BJP and dissident BJD and Congress workers.
Mohanty is most likely file his nominations on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, some senior BJP leaders had contacted him in an apparent move to persuade him not to go against the party decision. But nothing came out of the negotiations, BJD sources said.
Meanwhile, rumours are flying thick and fast about the role of senior Congress leader and Union minister Srikant Jena, who has been making efforts to divide the BJD votes in Baleswar district from where he would contest as Lok Sabha candidate.
Sources in the political circles said Jena is trying his best to woo Mohanty for a possible split in the BJD.