ANGUL: With two rebels filing their nomination papers as independent candidates, the BJD’s fight from Talcher and Pallahara Assembly segments is going to be a tough one.Manoj Pradhan and Sandip Pradhan, distraught after being denied ticket by the ruling party, have filed their nominations for the two seats as Independent candidates. Both are engineers.
This is set to compound the woes of sitting MLA and BJD candidate for Talcher Braja Kishore Pradhan. On Friday, 500 party workers, who had contributed significantly to Pradhan’s win in the 2014 polls, joined BJP. Prominent among them were senior leader Niru Pradhan and former block president Manas Acharya. After joining the saffron outfit, Niru said, BJD has weakened after its lacklustre performance in last panchayat polls.
Meanwhile, Manoj, who is associated with several social organisations in Talcher and head of an outfit that that agitates for land oustees, is charged. His nomination as an Independent in clear defiance of the party diktat, was inevitable after the BJD ignored him. Speaking to Express, he said, “I have a large support base and can get more than 40,000 votes. People for whom I took to the streets will come out in my support. I will contest and not withdraw my nomination.”
In Pallahara Assembly seat, the situation is equally alarming as Sandip has thrown in his hat into the ring as an Independent. He could not be contacted for his comments.