BJD, BJP and Congress announce candidates for Tirtol, Balasore Sadar by-polls

Biju Janata Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party & Congress have announced their candidates for the by-polls of two assembly seats – Tirtol and Balasore Sadar to be held on November 3. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has nominated Swarup Kumar Das as the BJD candidate for Balasore Sadar constituency and Bijay Shankar Das, son of former minister Bishnu Charan Das, as the candidate for Tirtol.

Debi Prasad Mishra, the BJD vice-president, declared the names of the two nominees with the consent of BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik. The nomination of Swarup Kumar Das for the Balasore Sadar seat came as a surprise. Das himself surprised by this move said, “I was not in the race. I never expected to be made a candidate for the seat”.

This nomination has led to a small outrage amongst senior leaders as numerous workers congregated in front of the Balasore BJD district office in protest. The resistance has been mostly seen from the supporters of district president Rabindra Jena.

Meanwhile, the BJP has nominated Manas Ranjan Dutta, son of deceased sitting MLA Madan Mohan Dutta and Raj Kishore Behera as candidates for the Balasore and Tirtol seats. In a statement to the media, Dutta said, “My father was very popular in Balasore. He was always available when people needed him the most. I have confidence in the goodwill my father used to carry.” Madan Mohan Dutta had won the Balasore Sadar seat for the first time in 2019 and it was his demise in June that has led to a vacancy.

The Congress party has also declared its candidates for the by-polls. Mamata Kundu and Himanshu Bhusan Mallick have been named as nominees for the Balasore Sadar and Tirtol constituencies respectively.

The filing of nominations will be held on October 16 and inspection of nominations is scheduled on October 17 and October 19. The polls will be conducted on November 3 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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