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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Chairperson of the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Subash Chauhan died at a private hospital here on Sunday morning after a prolonged illness. He was 54.

Chauhan was reportedly admitted to the private hospital on April 30 and undergoing treatment for liver cancer.

Chauhan was appointed Chairperson of WODC in September last year. Chauhan, who was a die-hard RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member, had quit BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections and joined BJD after he was denied a ticket for Bargarh Lok Sabha seat.

Though Chauhan had lost to BJD’s Prabhas Singh in 2014 election by a margin of around 11,178 votes, he garnered huge popularity and support in the parliamentary constituency and was considered as BJP's candidate for the 2019 polls. However, BJP fielded Suresh Pujari from the Bargarh LS constituency.

“I am associated with the party and will be there to serve the people but I won’t contest polls this time. Despite indifference from several leaders, I have been working hard and serving the people of Bargarh since last five years, still, I was denied ticket,” Chauhan had said after he was denied ticket by the saffron party.

Chauhan had also alleged, “The people of Bargarh were all set to give full support to BJP, but I was denied ticket from here. When my supporters opposed this decision of the party, they were threatened by some senior leaders to remain silent.”

Meanwhile, condolences are pouring in on the demise of the BJD leader. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the death of Chauhan. Offering his heartfelt condolences to the departed leader, Patnaik said Chauhan's contribution towards the development of the people of the State will always be remembered.

Senior BJP leader and national Vice President Baijayant Panda said Chauhan was a great organiser and his death is an irreparable loss to Odisha politics.

Terming Chauhan's death as a huge loss to the State, Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, "We are deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Chauhan. He was a great organiser and leader."

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also prayed peace and tranquility for the departed soul.

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