Sunday, April 14, 2024

Odisha BJP leader Kharabela Swain makes U-turn, says ‘won’t contest LS polls as Independent candidate’ – N.F Times

Bhubaneswar: BJP leader Mahameghabahan Aira Kharabela Swain, who had recently announced to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate, made a U-turn over his decision.

Addressing a presser here today, the former Balasore Lok Sabha member withdrew his statement and said that he will not contest the Lok Sabha polls as an Independent candidate. He proposed the party to replace Pratap Sarangi, who is the Lok Sabha candidate for the elections to Balasore Parliamentary Constituency.

“After I was exempted from the Lok Sabha candidates list of the BJP, I announced to fight the polls as an Independent candidate. Now, I withdraw that announcement, which I made earlier out of outrage. But, I propose the party a new offer so that both I and Pratap Sarangi will benefitted in the elections,” he said.

“I have fought the Lok Sabha polls eight times and won thrice. As I was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from Balasore Lok Sabha Constituency in past elections, the party should consider giving me the MP ticket for Balasore. If Pratap Sarangi wants to be an MP again, he should be given a ticket for Kandhamal Lok Sabha Constituency,” Swain told media.

Softening his tone, he said that Pratap Sarangi can make a tough fight in Kandhamal against the BJD candidate and win the seat.

“When I was fielded by the BJP as the candidate for Kandhamal Lok Sabha in 2019 elections, I had performed better and received 3.13 lakh votes, which was not minimal. If Pratap Sarangi stands there, he will surely make a mark and win the elections. I will help him for his victory. The anti-establishment factor will work greatly to defeat BJD candidate Achyuta Samant in Kandhamal,” he said.

“If he (Pratap Sarangi) will not be interested to contest for Lok Sabha, he can opt for Assembly elections from Nilagiri Constituency. After Nilagiri MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak deserted the saffron party and joined the Naveen camp, Paratap Sarangi can contest the Assembly polls from Nilagiri seat from where he was the two-time MLA. As the assembly constituency comes under Balasore Parliamentary Constituency, I will do my best to make him win in the polls if I will be given MP ticket from Balasore,” he clarified, requesting the party’s state unit head to field Pratap Sarangi as the candidate either from Kandhamal or Nilagiri.


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