ANGUL: A total of 43 nominations have been filed by different candidates for the five Assembly segments in Angul district.
The deadline for filing of nominations for the seats, which will go to polls in the third phase on April 23, ended on Thursday. Prominent leaders who filed their nomination papers are former Minister Rajani Kant Singh for Angul and State BJP secretary Kalandi Samal for Talcher.
Political observers feel the industrial district will witness a triangular contest among candidates of BJD, BJP and Congress. All five seats of the district, Talcher, Angul, Pallahara, Athmallik and Chhendipada, were won by BJD in the 2014 polls.
However, this time BJP is upbeat about its performance as in the last Zilla Parishad elections, it had grabbed 12 out of 28 seats in the district. Congress is confident of putting up a good show in at least two segments.
While Congress has fielded new faces in all the seats, BJP has given tickets to all its past candidates, except in Angul, where it has nominated a new face, Pratap Pradhan. Pratap had jumped to the saffron party from Congress last year.
The BJD has retained three of its sitting MLAs. The party has denied ticket to its Athmallik MLA Sanjeev Sahu. Pallahara MLA Mahesh Sahu has been nominated from the Dhenkanal Parliamentary constituency.
Sahu is a four-time legislator from the area.
He was elected as MLA in 2003 and continued to represent the seat till 2014. He was also a Minister in Naveen Patnaik Cabinet twice. However, Sahu did not fare well in the last panchayat polls.