Jharsuguda: Deogarh MLA Subhash Panigrahi hinted at the possibility of state BJP secretary Tankadhar Tripathy being fielded from Jharsuguda Assembly seat in Odisha for the upcoming by-poll scheduled on May 10. Panigrahi’s statement came amid speculation that the BJP may opt for a woman candidate, following BJD’s announcement of Dipali Das as its candidate.
Tankadhar, a former state president of BJP Yuva Morcha, is a front-runner for the seat. The 41-year-old law graduate started his political career as a student leader with ABVP and has been politically active in Jharsuguda, his native place. Panigrahi stated that the party is likely to announce Tankadhar’s candidature soon.
On Sunday, BJP’s Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal had informed reporters that the parliamentary board of the party was meeting in Delhi and the name of the candidate for the by-poll would be announced in a day or two. A five-member committee constituted by Samal had reportedly recommended five names after consultations with party functionaries and workers from booth to district level.
If BJP picks Tankadhar, then the Jharsuguda seat, which fell vacant following Naba Kishore Das’ murder, will see a clash between two debutants. This by-poll, which is most probably the last before the next assembly elections in Odisha, is also expected to set the tone for the “Big Battle” in 2024.
It is a must-win poll for the ruling BJD, considering the sympathy wave due to the Health Minister’s murder, and the party will want to ride on the momentum gained in Jharsuguda to cruise into full election mode.