TNI Bureau: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has expelled former Dhamnagar MLA Rajendra Das (Raju Das) from the party for anti-party activities.
Raju Das has entered the poll fray as an Independent candidate after being denied a ticket in Dhamnagar Bypoll.
BJD has fielded Abanti Das as its candidate from Dhamnagar.
“I welcome the decision of my party president. I am here to serve my people. I have the support of people of Dhamnagar, who will ensure my victory”, said Raju Das following the expulsion from BJD.
After the end of the deadline to withdraw nominations, 5 candidates remained in fray – Abanti Das (BJD), Suryabanshi Suraj (BJP), Hareskrushna Sethi (Congress), Rajendra Das (Independent) and Pabitra Mohan Das (Independent).
Raju Das had won from Dhamnagar in 2009 in a tough fight against Bishnu Sethi of the BJP. Rajendra had polled 48,424 votes while Sethi had secured 43,480 votes.
He was denied a ticket in 2014, but worked for the party’s official candidate. BJD candidate Muktikanta Mandal (71,538) won by 9,192 votes against Bishnu Charan Sethi (62,346).
In 2019 polls, BJP wrested the seat from BJD, as Bishnu Sethi (80,111) won against Rajendra Das (75,486) by 4,625 votes.