Pradeep Pattanayak

A thrilling fight could be on the cards in the Korei Assembly seat as actress and Minister Pritiranjan Gharai’s wife, Jhilik Bhattacharjee on Thursday expressed her desire to contest from the Korei seat. 

Hundreds of Jhilik’s followers today reached Minister Gharai’s residence in Jajpur Road and demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik give the actress a chance to contest the election from the Korei Assembly seat. 

 “If the Chief Minister gives me a chance, I will definitely join the poll battle and serve my Korei people,” said Bhattacharjee. 

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If Jhilik is fielded by the BJD in the Korei seat, she will lock horns with actor-turned-politician Akash Das Nayak, who has been fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

The Korei seat was a BJP fortress in 2000 and 2004. Baidhar Mallick had won both elections. In 2009, BJD took charge of the bastion with Pritiranjan Gharai winning the election. Since then, it has been the citadel of the BJD as in 2014, Aksah Das Nayak and in 2019, Ashok Kumar Bal registered decisive victories.