Speculation over Dilip Ray’s re-entry into BJP soon

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | April 03, 2024 IST

Bhubaneswar, April 3: Speculation is rife about the potential return of former union minister Dilip Ray to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The saffron party recently released its candidate list for six Assembly constituencies in Sundargarh district, but interestingly, Rourkela was left out of the list. However, all eyes are now fixed on the prestigious Rourkela seat, and Ray’s fate hinges on the Delhi High Court hearing scheduled for April 5.

If the BJP fields Ray in Rourkela, he is expected to give a tough fight to Labour Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak, who has been named as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate for the Assembly seat. Notably, in the 2014 elections, Ray, as a BJP candidate, defeated Nayak by a margin of 10,929 votes.

Ray’s political journey has seen twists and turns. In November 2018, he quit the BJP and also resigned from the MLA post due to differences with the party leadership. Since then, he has remained without any party affiliation.

While Ray himself has remained incommunicado, his close confidant suggests that depending on the circumstances after April 5, there is a strong possibility of Ray contesting from the Rourkela seat as a BJP candidate. A senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity, confirms that the party has reserved the nomination for Rourkela specifically for Ray. If all goes well, he will be the BJP’s official nominee. Interestingly, even after quitting the BJP, Ray has indirectly supported the party and never caused harm to it.

In its first list of candidates, the BJP has played it safe by retaining three sitting MLAs: Kusum Tete (Sundargarh), Bhawani Shankar Bhoi (Talsara), and Shankar Oram (Birmitrapur). Additionally, for Raghanathpali and Bonai, the saffron party has nominated new faces: Durga Charan Tanti and Sebati Naik, respectively. Furthermore, Narsingh Minz, who narrowly lost the seat in the 2019 election, gets a second chance in Rajgangpur


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