Dilip Ray to Contest Rourkela Assembly Seat as BJP Candidate: Jual Oram

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader Jual Oram confirmed today that the party has chosen Dilip Ray as its candidate for the Rourkela Assembly seat in the upcoming elections. Addressing supporters during his campaign in the Talasara Assembly constituency, Oram stated that Ray, who recently received clearance from the Delhi High Court to contest elections, will be formally announced as the candidate once he joins the party. Ray is expected to kickstart his campaign upon arrival in Rourkela tomorrow.

The anticipation surrounding Ray’s potential entry into the electoral arena had been fueled by the Delhi High Court’s stay on his conviction in a coal scam case. The former Rourkela MLA, aged 70, has been inactive in politics since 2018 after resigning from the BJP. His conviction in a coal block allocation case in 2020 further added to the speculation about his future in politics.

Ray’s candidacy for the Rourkela seat is set to intensify the competition, particularly in the battle for the Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat between former Union Minister Jual Oram and hockey star Dilip Tirkey. With Ray’s significant political experience as a three-time MLA and two-time Rajya Sabha member, he is anticipated to wield considerable influence in the region. Additionally, his background as a businessman could pose a formidable challenge to the ruling BJD, from which he was expelled following a fallout with Naveen Patnaik, the party’s leader.

Ray previously secured victory in the Rourkela seat in 2014 by defeating Sarada Prasad Nayak with a margin of 10,929 votes.

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