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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Zilla Parishad aspirant in Kalimela Zone-2 under Malkangiri district has allegedly gone missing since Monday morning, a day ahead of the nomination withdrawal deadline.

An FIR pertaining to the disappearance of the aspirant has been filed by the president of BJP’s Kalimela Block at the Kalimela Police station.

As per reports, Rina Kabasi (22) had filed her nomination papers for Zone-2 of Kalimela Zilla Parishad with the backing of the BJP. She allegedly went missing following the scrutiny of her nomination papers, which she reportedly had passed.

However, her name went missing from the final list of candidates published by the Sub-Collector’s office on Tuesday raising doubts that she had been coerced to withdraw her nomination.

Speaking to reporters, a local BJP leader said, “We had fielded Rina Kabasi, an educated tribal girl from the Zone 2 in Kalimela block, whose nomination papers were also validated in subsequent scrutiny.”

“Perturbed by her popularity, the BJD goons abducted and forced her to withdraw the nomination,” he alleged.

However, the response of the BJD to the allegations is yet to be received.

It is pertinent to mention here that the three-tier Panchayat elections in Odisha will be held in five phases starting from February 16, 2022. Voting will be held on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and February 24, 2022. The polling will begin at 7 am and continue till 1 pm.

Odisha will go to the polls for a total of 853 Zilla Parishad seats, 91,916 Wards and 6,794 Panchayats. Candidates will be able to contest the elections with party symbols.

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