Rojalin Mishra

Bhubaneswar/Kendrapara: Post the exodus of senior leaders, ruling BJD seems to be in fire-fighting mode. The party leaves no stone unturned to  avoid vote split in the elections. This is what is being discernible after former Kendrapara MLA and BJD leader Shipra Mallick decided to withdraw her nomination today.

Mallick had filed nomination as independent candidate from Kendrapara Assembly constituency after being denied ticket by the party yesterday only. She announced the withdrawal after attending a party meeting on Wednesday. Sources confirmed that the meeting was held at Naveen Niwas in presence of party supremo Naveen Patnaik and other seniors party leaders.

"I was interested in contesting election from Kendrapara constituency, but I always respect the decision of our party president Naveen Patnaik. On directions of the party, I withdrew my nomination," said Mallick and added that notwithstanding myself not contesting the election, I will always work for the betterment of the people of Kendrapara.

BJD has fielded incumbent Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera as its candidate from Kendrapara Assembly constituency.

"I  express my gratitude to our party members. They always work dedicatedly for the people of Odisha and are loyal to the party.  Kendrapara is important constituency for us as Biju Patnaik had a strong bond with Kendrapara," said Shashi Bhusan Behera.

On the other hand, sitting MLA Kishore Tarai said, "Disappointment is obvious for not getting the party ticket. But switching sides or involving in anti-party activities is not the right thing," said Kendrapara MLA, Kishore Tarai.