Ranchi: BJP dissident Deo Kumar Dhan’s filing of nomination for the Mandar bypoll as an independent has left the party’s state unit unfazed while the state Congress is hopeful that his entry into the electoral arena will only bolster the prospects of its candidate, Shilpi Neha Tirkey.
The by-election is slated for June 23.
“Dhan’s nomination will not have any effect on the prospects of our candidate, Gangotri Kujur, because she had won in 2014 assembly elections from the same seat. Dhan, on the other hand, was fielded by the party in 2019 elections but he lost,” BJP’s state president Deepak Prakash told TOI from New Delhi on Wednesday.
Upset after the BJP named Kujur as its candidate, Dhan filed his nomination as an independent on Monday. Prakash said the party’s disciplinary committee will initiate action against Dhan soon.
Speaking to TOI, Dhan said, “I thought I was the eligible candidate for my party and when that did not happen, I decided to go solo because the people of Mandar know me well. I have the support of the people here and I am confident that I will serve them to the best of my abilities.” Dhan, however, remained unfazed over a certain disciplinary action against him by the BJP. “I was not much involved within the party after the 2019 elections anyway and hence, it does not make a difference,” he added.
“The BJP’s present candidate had defeated Bandhu Tirkey by a narrow margin (over 9,000 votes in the 2014 assembly elections). Then, she was denied a ticket five years later. So, in a sense, the BJP has fielded a candidate whom they themselves did not trust three years ago. The electorate of Mandar is watching this and we are hopeful that they will help our candidate win,” Congress president Rajesh Thakur said.





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