Suresh Routray campaigns for Manmath in Bhubaneswar constituency

On the other hand, as Congress has not yet announced its candidate for the seat, the warring factions are not yet out in the open.
Suresh Routray campaigning for Manmath in Bhubaneswar
Suresh Routray campaigning for Manmath in BhubaneswarPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: In an interesting twist to the electoral battle in Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency, Congress MLA from Jatni Suresh Routray has come out in support of his younger son Manmath, who is contesting from the seat on a BJD ticket.

The veteran Congress leader, who has announced not to contest elections this time, was on Saturday seen campaigning for Manmath, a pilot, in parts of Bhubaneswar North Assembly segment. Much to the chagrin of the Congress leadership, Routray was seen meeting people in a park and appealing them to vote for his son.

Routray’s campaign has sparked controversy as despite being served notice by his party recently, the MLA has remained steadfast in his support for Manmath, emphasising the sanctity of the father-son relationship over political ties. His action has also stirred speculation on a potential fissure within Congress’ ranks.

BJP’s Aparajita Sarangi had won the Lok Sabha seat in 2019 with a margin of 24,000 votes. With Sarangi gearing up for another tough fight to retain the seat, the entry of the Congress MLA into the fray to support his son has added a new twist to the political dynamics.

On the other hand, as Congress has not yet announced its candidate for the seat, the warring factions are not yet out in the open. Routray said as a Congress member he won’t attend any rally or meeting of his son but it would not be possible for him to ignore his son’s candidature.

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