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Suryakant Jena

Senior BJP leader Radharani Panda has been named as BJP candidate for the by-election to the Brajrajnagar Assembly constituency in Odisha.

The Central Election Committee of the BJP has decided to nominate Panda’s name for the ensuing bypoll to the Assembly seat, the party high command said in a notice.

Panda, a former MLA from Brajrajnagar in 2014, had lost the general elections in 2019 to BJD’s Kishore Kumar Mohanty.

A few days ago, the Congress had announced to field senior leader and former Odisha Assembly Speaker Kishore Chandra Patel for the bypoll.

On the other hand, several BJD leaders, including late MLA Kishore Kumar Mohanty’s wife Alaka Mohanty are in the race to contest the bypoll on a BJD ticket.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced bypoll to the Assembly segment on May 31. The last date for filing of nomination papers is on May 11 while scrutiny will be conducted on May 12. The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is May 17. Counting of votes has been scheduled on June 3.

Notably, the bypoll to the Assembly seat necessitated following the demise of sitting BJD MLA from Brajrajnagar and former Speaker Kishore Kumar Mohanty on December 30, 2021 due to cardiac arrest.

Speaking on her nomination, Panda expressed gratitude to the BJP leadership at the State and central level. “I also urge my supporters and the public in my constituency for reposing faith in me,” said the former legislator.

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