Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: A day after the issuance of gazette notification for the by-election to Bijepur Assembly segment, senior leaders of the BJD and Congress are bracing up to finalise their respective candidates for the upcoming bypoll on October 21.

Among several contenders in BJD, Rita Sahu, wife of former Congress MLA Subal Sahu, is said to be the frontrunner for the bypoll. She had defeated BP's Ashok Panigrahi by 41,933 votes in the Bijepur bypoll held in 2018.

On the other hand, former Bargarh MP from BJD, Prabhas Singh has also expressed his interest to contest from Bijepur seat saying that he was actively involved in party campaigns though he wasn't allotted a ticket in the recently held elections. "I had campaigned for chief minister in the recent assembly elections. Being in the party, it is obvious that there will be a hope of becoming the candidate from such a high profile seat," said Singh.

Similarly, Odisha Congress MLA and legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra today chaired a meeting to select party candidate for Bijepur Bypoll. It is assumed that the candidate will be finalised only after AICC nod. “The party is likely to announce its candidate for the bypoll by today evening or tomorrow,” informed Mishra.

Senior Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said that as many as 15 candidates are on the list of probables, of which four have submitted written requests.