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Orissa rebels may queer the pitch of official nominees

Over 100 rebel candidates who are contesting the LS and Assembly polls have been causing sleepless nights to the party nominees.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Bhubaneswar
PUBLISHED ON APR 19, 2004 01:38 PM IST

Out to prove their worth after being spurned by their parties, over 100 rebel candidates who are contesting the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Orissa have been causing sleepless nights to the party nominees.

Exactly 100 rebels were in the fray for the Assembly poll accounting for one-eighth of the total number of contestants with the largest number of 35 belonging to the ruling BJD followed by 32 of the Congress and 28 of the BJP.

''This is a problem we have been encountering in every election and the trend is showing no sign of abetting,'' said a senior Congress leader.

In the parliamentary elections, Sushila Tiriya (Congress -- Mayurbhanj ST), George Tirkey (BJD--Sundargarh ST), Upendranath Nayk (BJP--Keonjhar ST) and Balgopal Mishra (BJP-- Balangir) are the most prominent rebels who could queer the pitch for their official nominee.

After the Congress formed an alliance with the JMM and left the Mayurbhanj(ST) Lok Sabha seat to the latter, Tiriya entered the fray and did not withdraw even after being asked, party sources said.

Supporters of Tiriya, who has the Congress' 'hand' symbol with her, have been campaigning asking the people to vote for her causing jitters to the JMM candidate Sudam Marandi.

All the Congress could do was to suspend her from the party but it has not helped Marandi's prospects, observers say.

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