'Non-Cong' in fray as Cong candidates

Updated on Apr 03, 2004 01:44 PM IST

Ramkrushna Patnaik, Bijay Mohapatra, Dilip Ray, Nalinikanta Mohanty, Narasingha Mishra and Kamala Das - all of them, till recently, were seen as the epitome of non-Congressism in Orissa.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bhubaneswar

Ramkrushna Patnaik, Bijay Mohapatra, Dilip Ray, Nalinikanta Mohanty, Narasingha Mishra and Kamala Das - all of them, till recently, were seen as the epitome of non-Congressism in Orissa.

Today, all of them are working to ensure that the Congress formed the next government in the state in alliance with other parties.

All these leaders were known to be very close to Biju Patnaik and five of them were in the BJD, the regional outfit set up following the demise of the legendary leader.

In fact Dilip Ray, Bijay Mohapatra and Ramkrushna Patnaik were among the architects behind the floating of the BJD. Mishra, however, did not join the BJD while Mohanty decided to come in belatedly.

But their political fortunes have swung in such a manner that all of them -- except Mohapatra -- have found themselves in the Congress just ahead of the crucial simultaneous polls.

While most others, shunned by the BJD, decided to join the Congress, Mohapatra chose to keep the Orissa Gana Parishad (OGP), a political outfit he had set up after being uncermoniously expelled from the BJD, afloat.

Mohapatra did not join the Congress, rather chose to have an alliance with the party even as several OGP leaders left him to join either the Congress, BJD or BJP.

This time Ramkrushna Patnaik is the Congress nominee contesting from the Aska Lok Sabha constituency while his wife Kumudini, who was the BJD MP from the seat in the dissolved Lok Sabha and was expelled from the outfit, is seeking election from the Kodala assembly seat, her husband's stronghold since long.

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