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Ramakanta Biswas

Rayagada: Just hours after losing the legal battle regarding his election as the president of Rayagada Zilla Parishad (ZP), Congress leader Purushottam Gamang from the southern district of Odisha lost his life to a road accident.

The Rayagada district judge court on Tuesday declared Gamang’s election as the president of Zilla Parishad null and void. Just hours after the development, Gamang suffered severe injuries in a road mishap while returning home from court on Ramanaguda-Gunupur road. He was immediately shifted to Srikakulam in a critical condition where doctors declared him dead.

According to reports, the ZP election in Rayagada was held on March 12, 2017 and Gamang was elected as the president. However, Gangadhar Puala from BJD who was one of the contenders for the post had challenged his election in the district court.

Taking up the case for hearing, the district court in December 2018 had annulled the election. However, Gamang later challenged the ruling and moved the Orissa HC.

The State apex court in its ruling had directed the district court to allow Gamang to present his stand and pronounce the verdict in three months.

The district judge again pronounced verdict in favour of the BJP candidate and nullified Gamang's election. The court also asked the authorities to conduct the re-election to the ZP president’s post.

“The hearing of the case was held in the district court again and Gamang had presented his stand. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court observed that there was violation of guidelines during the election and declared the ZP president’s election null and void,” said the counsel of Gamang, Brajasundar Nayak.

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