Bhubaneswar: India Whispers.Com first reported that Pranay Sahu would be the Congress candidate for the Bijepur assembly by-elections. Now, the Congress has confirmed the report with nominating  Sahu as the party candidate for the Bijepur assembly by-elections.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday named Pranay Sahu, the vice chariman of Gaisilat block as the party’s candidate for the upcoming assembly by-poll scheduled for February 24.

The two Congress selection committees headed by former chief minister Hemananada Biswal and Naba Kishore Das had recommended the name of Sahu along with former minister Ripunath Seth.

Sahu said that the Congress, which has won the seat consecutively thrice, would retain the constitutency.

On being asked what will happen this time as Rita Sahu, the widow of Subal Sahu has joined BJD and become the party candidate in Bijepur, the vice chairman said that Subal was winning because Congress was with him. “Now Congress is with me, the victory is sure for Congress candidate”, he asserted.

Stating that during past 40 years, there has been no representation in politics from farming community in the area. He added that  he will work for the interest of farmers if he wins the election.

With Congress finalising the candidate, the battle lines for the Bijepur elections are drawn as BJD and BJP have already nominated their candidates. While BJD has fielded Rita Sahu, the wife of late Subal Sahu as its candidate, BJP has put up Ashok Panigrahi, a former BJD MLA from Bijepur as its candidate. The BJD candidate will file the nominations on February 5 and the Congress on  February 6. The BJP candidate has already filed his nomination papers on February 3 .