Berhampur, March 24(LocalWire): The general elections are only a little more than two weeks away and the contestants are still taking the political parties by surprise.
Congress received a jolt in Paralakhemundi, one of the Assembly segments in Berhampur Parliamentary constituency, as chairman of High-Tech Group Tirupati Panigrahy along with his supporters, resigned from the party and filed his nomination as an Independent candidate after it re-nominated KSurya Rao to contest from there.
Panigrahy was working towards acquiring the Congress ticket on the basis of assurance given by senior leaders. He was a big asset to the party as his company is into real estate and also owns educational institutes, including medical colleges. He held a rally on Saturday as a show of strength.
Rao, who was elected with a Congress ticket in 2014, will file his nomination on Monday. He seemed unperturbed with Panigrahy’s resignation and said there will be no impact on the people with the fallout. ‘The people of this segment are Congress followers and they are remaining with the party,’ Rao said.
The ruling BJD is also not at peace in the constituency. Former MLA K Narayan Rao resigned from the party after being denied the ticket and joined the BJP. The saffron party has given him the ticket to contest from the seat.
BJD has picked up Kalyani Gajapati, daughter of the former Berhampur MP, Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Dev, to contest from the seat. ‘People are with the BJD with the Chief Minister doing a lot of developmental work for the constituency,’ said Kalyani, who is a first-time contestant.