Dharmasala Independent Candidate Himanshu Sahoo Expelled From BJP Ahead Of June 1 Polls In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Couple of days before the final phase of elections in Odisha, the BJP on Wednesday expelled Himanshu Sahoo, who is contesting the elections from Dharmasala Assembly constituency as an independent candidate, from the party.

He was expelled from BJP on the order of state party president Manmohan Samal for anti-party activities, an office order said.

A straight fight between the BJP and the BJD for Dharmasala in Jajpur district turned into a triangular contest after Himanshu, popular as Liku, entered the fray as an Independent.

The saffron party has named Smruti Rekha Pahi, who was the Congress candidate from the seat in 2019.

The BJP’s organisation has weakened following the exit of Himanshu, credited for strengthening the saffron party at the grassroots level in Dharmasala. Besides BJP votes, he is also likely to benefit from the anti-incumbency against sitting Dharmasala MLA of BJD Pranab Balabantray, who is expecting to score a hat-trick from the seat.

Congress has fielded ex-chairman of Dharmasala block Kisan Panda from the constituency.

Voting for the seat, which has been the BJD bastion for decades, will be held on June 1.

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