Odisha: Rajendra Das Welcomes Expulsion From BJD, Confident Of Victory In Dhamnagar Bypoll

Bhubaneswar: Unfazed by expulsion from the ruling BJD after he jumped into fray for Dhamnagar bypoll as a rebel, former MLA Rajendra Das on Wednesday claimed that his victory is certain as he enjoys full support of the people for his work.

Welcoming the action by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, the expelled leader said he has nothing to worry about as he has been working for the people of the constituency who support him wholeheartedly.

Das, who is contesting the by-election to Dhamnagar Assembly constituency in Bhadrak district as an independent candidate after denial of BJD ticket, was expelled from the ruling party for anti-party activities earlier in the day.

“I welcome the decision of the party president. I am with my people and I am in politics in order to serve them,” the former legislator said.

Voicing optimism about his victory, Das said “I will definitely win. I have full support of the voters in Dhamnagar.”

The expulsion was on the cards after he filed his nomination from the assembly constituency, where voting will be held on November 3, as an independent and refused to budge despite efforts by senior leaders to placate him.

The ruling BJD had so far been dilly-dallying on action against the rebel leader apprehending that it may cost the party dear and help Das gain sympathy votes. Moreover, the ex-MLA has a strong vote base in the constituency.

In the run up to the voting, Das has neither made any adverse remark about BJD  nor party candidate Abanti Das.

Das was a strong contender for the ticket having lost the 2019 election to Bishnu Sethi, whose demise necessitated the by-election, by a slender margin. Playing the woman card, BJD instead fielded his protege Abanti Das to counter the sympathy wave in favour of BJP’s date Suryabanshi Suraj Sthitaprajna.

Das’ entry has made Dhamnagar by-election a four-horse race and the BJD, which has won all five by-elections since 2019, will have to counter the dual challenge of defeating its opponents as well as the dissidence factor, which is likely to split some party votes.

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