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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik on Monday accepted the challenge thrown by School and Mass Education Minister and BJD candidate from Ghasipura Assembly constituency Badri Narayan Patra, to contest from the Ghasipura seat.

Accepting the challenge from his arch-rival yesterday, Patnaik announced that he would contest from Bhandaripokhari Assembly constituency and also from the Ghasipura seat... This announcement by the OPCC chief is believed to have a positive impact on the party workers across the State.

Patnaik is likely to file nomination papers from Ghasipura today while he will file his nomination from Bhandaripokhari on April 8.

Though the All India Congress Committee (AICC) is yet to make the announcement, Patnaik on Monday said the decision regarding his candidature from the two Assembly seats has already been taken into consideration by the party’s high command.

“As the workers and people of Ghasipura want me to stand from there, I cannot wait anymore, and will file my nomination from Ghasipura tomorrow (April 2). I will file nomination from two Assembly seats,” said Patnaik on Monday.

Badri Patra had earlier on March 28, dared Niranjan Patnaik to contest from Ghasipura Assembly seat and said: “Those campaigning against me own TV channels, newspapers, but still I ask them to contest against me. Even if I am injured, I will win regardless of whoever stands against me in Ghasipura.”

Later, while responding to Patra's challenge on March 30, Patnaik had said: "I can't compete with him (Badri Patra) as far as violence and criminal activities are concerned but I have guts to fight the elections. I have requested AICC to consider fielding me from Ghasipura. If AICC recommends, will contest from 2 seats."

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