The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has released a list of 40 star campaigners including five Union Ministers who will campaign for the party candidate in the byelection to the Brajrajnagar assembly seat.
The list submitted to the Election Commission of India by the Odisha BJP unit included names of Union Ministers -- Piyush Goel, Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Biseswar Tudu.
The other prominent leaders in the list are Odisha BJP president Samir Mohanty, state in-charge D Purandeswari, national vice-president Baijayant Panda, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, former Union minister Pratap Sarangi, MP Suresh Pujari and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh.
The saffron party has fielded its former MLA Radharani Panda for the May 31 by-poll to Brajrajnagar assembly segment. Panda had won the seat in the 2014 general elections.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal has fielded former Brajrajnagar MLA Kishore Mohanty's wife Alaka Mohanty after the death of her husband in December last year while the Congress candidate is veteran leader and former assembly speaker Kishore Patel.
The Congress was also planning to invite Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and youth leader Kanhaiya Kumar to campaign for its candidate. The ruling BJD is yet to announce its prominent campaigners.
As per the notification the byelection will be held on May 31. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is May 17. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 3.
A total of 2,14,261 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the Brajrajnagar bypoll. There will be 279 polling booths for the bypoll.
The byelection has been necessitated due to the death of BJD's Brajarajnagar MLA Kishore Kumar Mohanty on December 30 last year.