Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In what could come as a startling revelation, Senior Congress Leader Hemanand Biswal brought allegations that the candidate selection process was rigged internally leading to a disastrous performance by the party in the recently-concluded Bijepur bypoll.

We had suggested Ripunath Seth's name as candidate for Bijepur bypoll. But at the AICC level several senior leaders changed the name by all means possible. During the Panchayat polls, the Congress had a secret alliance wherein BJP was a big gainer. In the bypoll a similar alliance was struck with BJD," said Biswal.

Reacting to such claims, party's candidate for the Bijepur bypoll, Pranay Sahu said "Such allegations are baseless. A lot of Congress workers had joined BJD. We somehow couldn't win the trust of the people."

Sandhya Mohapatra of PCC disciplinary committee questioned Biswal's silence on candidate selection prior to the bypoll and questioned why he did not raise the issue then.