Bhubaneswar: The Congress today named former Phulbani MLA Abhimanyu Behera as its candidate for the October 15 by-elections to the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat.
“Abhimanyu Behera will be the Congress candidate for the by-elections in Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat,” OPCC president Jaydev Jena said adding the former party MLA from Phulbani was chosen as the suitable candidate as he was a local man.
Earlier, the ruling BJD had named Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh, widow of former MP Hemendra Chandra Singh, as the party candidate for the seat while BJP has announced the name of former Kandhamal MP Rudra Madhav Ray as its candidate.
Behera’s name was among the four probable candidates sent to the central selection committee of Congress. The other three were former MP Pradip Majhi, Bhakta Charan Das and former candidate from Kandhamal, Harihar Karan.
Behera was elected to the Odisha Assembly in 1985 and had unsuccessfully contested in Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat in 2004.
“I have experience in contesting polls from Kandhamal Lok Sabha segment. Therefore, there should be no problem for me,” Behera said.
While the stage is set to witness a triangular fight at Kandhamal, no candidate has so far filed papers though the process has started on September 19. The last date of filing nomination is September 26.
The Parliamentary constituency consists of seven Assembly segments – Phulbani (ST), G.Udaygiri (ST), Balliguda (ST), Boudh, Kantamal, Bhanjanagar and Daspalla.