Swain files papers for Athagarh by polls

Cuttack: Ranendra Pratap Swain of ruling BJD on Monday filed nomination for the March 18 by-poll to Athagarh assembly seat.

Swain, popularly known as Raja and a four-time MLA and former cabinet minister, was not allowed to contest the 2009 Odisa assembly elections from the constituency although he was the official nominee of the ruling party.

His nomination papers were rejected by the then returning officer. He, however, came out triumphant when state High Court nullified the returning officer`s action and directed for a fresh elections in the constituency.

The Supreme Court later endorsed the HC`s verdict upholding the order for a fresh poll in the segment.

Swain accompanied by a large number of supporters and filed his nomination papers in the office of the Athagarh sub-collector after addressing a public meeting which was attended by two senior state cabinet ministers.

An independent candidate Anam Mohapatra also filed his nomination papers for the polls during the day.

"We have received five sets of nomination papers on the day. Four are from BJD candidate Ranendra Pratap Swain and one set of papers from independent candidate Anam Mohapatra, said sub-collector and returning officer Trilochan Pradhan.

Opposition Congress has named the candidature of PCC general secretary Suresh Mohapatra and BJP has decided to field a local lawyer Bikram Dash for next months by-poll but the two are yet to file their papers.