.........BARGARH:All eyes are set on the visit of AICC selection panel comprising veteran Congress leaders to Bijepur on Tuesday to finalise the partyís candidate for the upcoming by-election. Much importance is being attached to the visit as the choice of Congress candidate could possibly decide the next move of BJP.
The six-member panel led by former Chief Minister Hemananda Biswal will select a candidate out of two aspirants -former MLA and minister Ripunath Seth and Gaiselet block vice-chairman Pranaya Sahu. While the BJD has already announced the date of filing of nomination of its candidate Ritarani Sahu on February 5, Congress and BJP are yet to declare their nominees.
Sources said there is a division in Congress over the choice of candidate. While the seniors are supporting Seth, the comparatively young brigade is pitching for Sahu. The sitting Congress candidate Subal Sahu, whose death necessitated the by-poll, won from the seat thrice in a row. Another win for Congress would rejuvenate the party which has lost its foothold in western Odisha to BJD and BJP.