BJD MLA’s sister-in-law campaigns for Cong in CMC bypoll

Cuttack: BJD MLA from Barabati-Cuttack Debasis Samantray’s sister-in-law Sikha Samantray on Sunday joined the campaign trail of Congress for the by-poll in Ward no-21 in Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC).

She was seen campaigning door-to-door and asking residnets of the area to vote for the Congress candidate.

“I wanted to speak against illegality. If someone cannot give security to his brother and his offspring, how can he support the people of the city?” Sikha asked.

When asked whether she had joined Congress, Samantray stated, “I have not joined any party,” adding she is only asking for justice.

Senior Congress leader Mohammad Moquim said, “Debasis Samantray’s brother is suffering from cancer. But the legislator is not providing him any support. When an MLA cannot support his ailing brother, what kind of support he will give to the people of the city?”

Another senior Congress leader Suresh Mohapatra stated, “The campaign is going very well. We are encouraged after Shikha Samantray joined us.”

Commenting on the charges, the BJD MLA said, “The party is fully prepared to face the poll battle. We expect the voters to vote for us again.”

He added, “In a democratic country, anyone can join any party. For example, Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo and his sister-in-law have fought poll battles. Likewise, Tathagat Satapathy and his nephew have also been in the poll fray. It’s a personal choice and wish.”

Asked whether his sister-in-law’s joining the campaigning for Congress would affect BJD’s chances in Ward no-21 in any way, the MLA said, “It will not affect us. She had gone before media and made statements against me earlier also.”

Notably, Debasis Samantray’s sister-in-law had filed a complaint with the State Commission for Women in April accusing the legislator of subjecting her to mental harassment.