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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Putting all speculations to rest, BJP on Monday announced Ashok Panigrahi as party candidate for the Bijepur bypoll scheduled to be held on February 24.

BJP central election committee has approved the name of Panigrahi as candidate for the by-election, informed JP Nadda, secretary of the committee. An official notification will be issued tomorrow.

After the announcement, Panigrahi spoke exclusively to OTV and stated, "I am obliged  to BJP national president Amit Shah and the party's State chief Basant Panda for choosing me as party candidate."

"Definitely the simmering discontent among people against BJD will be reflected in this bypoll. The State government has been neglecting Bijepur. But, keeping in view of the ensuing bypoll the government hurriedly announced development schemes and is giving false promises," Panigrahi stated.

In October last year, Panigrahi had quit BJD and joined BJP.

On the other hand, ruling BJD has already named Rita Sahu, wife of incumbent legislator late Subal Sahu, as its candidate for the by-election whereas Congress is yet to make an announcement on its candidate.

Congress has formed a six-member committee under chairmanship of senior leader Hemananda Biswal to finalise the party candidate. However, names of Gaisilat block vice chairman Pranoy Sahu and former minister Ripunath Seth are doing rounds in the political circle as possible names of Congress.

The voting for the bypoll will be held on February 24 while the counting and results will be declared on February 28. As per the schedule, while the last date for filing nomination is February 6, the candidates can withdraw their candidatures by February 9.

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