Cuttack, Feb. 27: BJD candidate Ranendra Pratap Swain today filed his nomination for Athgarh bypoll. Senior party leaders and many supporters accompanied him.
The BJD leaders — Prafulla Ghadei and Raghunath Mohanty — said the party would win the Athgarh election by a huge margin regardless of frantic efforts being made by the Congress and the BJP to defeat its candidate.
The Congress has pitted Suresh Mohapatra, general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee, against Swain.
Swain said the public mood was clearly in favour of his party under the leadership of chief minister Naveen Patnaik and the other parties would have to fight for the second position. The by-election is on March 15.
Swain, the four times MLA of Athgarh, could not contest the 2009 Assembly poll from the seat as his nomination paper was rejected.
He challenged the rejection in Orissa High Court, which declared election of Independent MLA Ramesh Chandra Rout as null and void. Rout challenged the high court judgment in the Supreme Court which last month upheld the earlier order.
The Supreme Court also directed the Election Commission to conduct by-election for Athgarh.
Swain was elected for the first time from Athgarh on a Janata Dal ticket in 1990. He retained the seat for Janata Dal till 1995.