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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The announcement of ex-BJD MLA Ashok Panigarhi joining BJP on October 2 has not gone down well with several leaders and activists of the saffron party.

BJP’s Bargarh district president Narayan Sahu has vehemently opposed the ongoing attempts by the higher echelons of the party to rope in Panigrahi for the Bijepur seat.

Sahu stated that Panigarhi will be welcomed into the party but his candidature for the Bijepur bypoll will not be accepted. Besides, Sahu claimed that Panigarhi doesn’t have his own vote bank else he would have won the 2004 elections when BJD & BJP were in coalition.

Also Read: Bijepur bypoll: Ex- MLA Panigrahi to join BJP on Oct 2

“We have already submitted a memorandum to party president Basant Panda and demanded to announce a candidate from the organization instead of roping in new entrants,” said Sahu.

BJP State President, Basant Panda meanwhile said “Party’s parliamentary committee takes the final decision. So far no decision has been taken on finalizing candidate for the Bijepur bypoll.”

Clearing the air, Ashok Panigrahi stated that he is going to join the BJP but not will demand nomination.

Also Read: BJP will win Bijepur bypoll: Dharmendra Pradhan

BJD has already nominated Rita Sahu, wife of late Congress leader Subal Sahu, whose death necessitated the bypoll as its candidate.

Also Read: Bijepur bypoll: Late Cong MLA Subal Sahu’s wife named BJD candidate

BJD Vice President, Surya Narayan Patro said, “Panigrahi is a good organizer but it is difficult to defeat our candidate.”

Senior Congress leader and former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik stated that Congress will gain considerably in the ongoing fight between BJD and BJP.

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