"The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the party has approved the name of Ray as its candidate for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat," Union minister and senior BJP leader Jual Oram told reporters here. Ray, who had been elected to Lok Sabha from Kandhamal on BJD ticket by securing more than three lakh votes, was denied ticket by the ruling party in April 2014 elections.
The ex-MP was subsequently suspended from BJD for allegedly working against the party during the last polls. Ray along with his supporter had joined the BJP yesterday in the presence of senior leaders. Meanwhile, BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today held a series of meetings with party leaders to finalise the candidate for the by-polls. "The BJD president will announce the name of candidate soon," said party spokesman Sashi Busan Behera.
The Congress is also yet to take any decision on its candidate for the bye-election necessitated following the death of Hemendra Chandra Singh on September 5.