Congress names candidates for MP, Odisha assembly by-polls

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday announced Kantilal Bhuria and Dilip Kumar Panda as the party’s candidates for the assembly by-polls for one seat each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, respectively

In a release here, Congress General Secretary Mukul Wasnik said: “Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi has approved the proposal for the candidature of Khuntia from Jhabua-Schedule Tribe seat in Madhya Pradesh and Panda from the Bijepur assembly constituency in Odisha.

According to Congress sources, the party has lost the Jhabua seat to the BJP twice in the last six years due to factionalism in the party as rebel party candidates ate into votes of the official candidate.

The by-poll in Jhabua was necessitated after BJP MLA G.S. Damor quit the Madhya Pradesh Assembly after winning the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat earlier this year.

The Bijepur by-poll was necessitated after Biju Janata Dal chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who successfully contested from both Hinjili and Bijepur in 2019 assembly elections, retained the Hinjili seat and vacated Bijepur. It was the first time that Patnaik has contested from Western Odisha.

Polling in both the seats is scheduled for October 21, while the counting of votes will take place on October 24.