Pradeep Pattanayak

In elections, it is common to find couples contesting from different seats. But it is perhaps rare that a husband and wife are crossing swords for the same seat. 

Such a picture has emerged from the Pipili Assembly constituency where the ruling BJD has fielded Rudra Prasad Maharathy, son of seven-time MLA, late Pradeep Maharathy. However, Rudra’s wife Jagruti Panda has filed her nomination papers as an independent candidate from the same seat.

Couple Locks Horn 

The couple locking horns for the same Pipili seat has become the talk of the town with the political analysts speculating the possible reasons behind such a move. 

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While Jagruti is yet to reveal why she has thrown her hat into the poll arena, she has mentioned Rudra Prasad Maharathy as her husband in her nomination papers. The Election Commission’s website is also showing their names as contestants from the Pipili seat. 

Rudra won the seat in a bypoll held in April 2021. The by-election was necessitated following the death of his father and MLA Pradeep Maharathy. 

Suspense Still Prevails 

Earlier, it was speculated that Jagruti filed nomination papers to act as a backup for her husband in case his nomination gets rejected in scrutiny. But it is learned that the couple’s nomination papers have been retained after the scrutiny. 

It is also speculated that Jagruti has filed her nomination because Rudra may get apprehensive that his ticket might be cancelled. In the past, there were incidents of candidates’ tickets being cancelled even after filing nominations. 

As of now, all eyes are set on the withdrawal of nomination papers. Candidates can withdraw their nominations on Wednesday and Thursday (till 3 pm). After the expiry of the nomination withdrawal window, more clarity may emerge.

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