BJP fields Dilip Ray from Rourkela after HC suspends conviction in coal scam | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP fields Dilip Ray from Rourkela after HC suspends conviction in coal scam

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 16, 2024 03:06 PM IST

Dilip Ray, 71, was handed out a three-year jail term in October 2020 for his role in the coal block allocation scam

BHUBANESWAR: : Former union minister Dilip Ray, sentenced to three years in jail in a corruption case in 2020, was named as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Odisha’s Rourkela assembly segment on Tuesday, a week after the Delhi high court stayed his conviction in the case.

Dilip Ray was convicted in the coal scam case relating to a 1999 allotment and sentenced to three years in jail in October 2020 (X/@DilipRayOdisha)
Dilip Ray was convicted in the coal scam case relating to a 1999 allotment and sentenced to three years in jail in October 2020 (X/@DilipRayOdisha)

In a post on X, Ray thanked the top BJP leadership for nominating him as the candidate from Rourkela. “This time, under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Modiji, BJP will not only return to power in the Centre with a thumping majority, but in Odisha too, our party shall form the Government and our people will benefit from the Double Engine Government,” he said

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Ray, 71, was handed out a three-year jail term in October 2020 for his role in irregularities in the allocation of an abandoned coal mining area in Jharkhand’s Giridih district to a private, firm, Castron Technologies Limited, in 1999. Ray was a minister of state (MoS) for coal in the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

On April 8, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma of the Delhi high court suspended Ray’s conviction on April 8 on his petition, ruling that if his request is not accepted, “he will lose the chance to contest an election and an irreversible consequence and irreversible damage to his political career and desire to serve his constituency will be caused to him”.

He has thrice won the Rourkela assembly seat in 1985, 1990 and 2014. Ray, who also founded the hotel chain Mayfair Hotels and Resorts, was a Rajya Sabha member for two terms from 1996 and 2008.

Ray distanced himself from the BJP in 2018, complaining that he was being treated as a piece of furniture in the party.

Ray’s candidature from the Rourkela assembly segment is expected to help Lok Sabha candidate Jual Oram’s fight in the Lok Sabha election for Sundargarh constituency where he is pitted against Hockey India president and former captain of the Indian men’s hockey team, Dilip Tirkey.

Among the other 20 names announced by the BJP for Odisha assembly elections on Tuesday were Surama Padhy for the Ranpur seat and Chaitanya Nandibali for the Pottangi seat, replacing the two party leaders, Tapas Martha and Chaitanya Hantal, respectively, whose names were announced earlier,

Also on the list are three former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders who recently switched sides; Amarendra Das in Jagatsinghpur, Dambaru Sisa in Chitrakonda and Bhadav Hansda in Saraskana.

The BJP has so far announced candidates on 131 of Odisha’s 147 assembly seats.

Odisha votes in four phases starting May 13.

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