Dilip Ray is likely to contest from Rourkela, says former Union Minister Jual Oram

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Dilip Ray. File.

Dilip Ray. File.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

Former Union Minister and hotelier Dilip Ray, whose conviction in coal scam case was stayed by Delhi High Court on Monday, is likely to contest Assembly election from Rourkela on Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.

Former Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Sundargarh BJP Lok Sabha candidate Jual Oram gave a hint about Mr. Ray’s candidature.

“After his conviction was stayed, announcement about candidacy of Mr. Ray is a matter of time. The campaign for Sundargarh Lok Sabha will commence from April 11,” said Mr. Oram.  

Rourkela seat is among seven Assembly constituencies that come under Sundargarh Lok Sabha Assembly. Incidentally, BJP has announced candidates for all Assembly seats except Rourkela.

The former Union Minister had moved High Court seeking the suspension of his conviction as he has to contest the upcoming Odisha Assembly election.

Delhi High Court Judge Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said if the conviction is not suspended, it would lead to an irreversible consequence, in case he is acquitted at a later stage.

“As noted above, the elections are to be held in the year 2024, he is 71 years of age, and multiple appeals and cross-appeals have been filed in this case which will take time to be heard and are not likely to be heard and decided in the nearest future,” the Delhi HC observed.

“In case the applicant’s (Mr. Ray) prayer is not allowed, he will lose chance to contest election and an irreversible consequence and irreversible damage to his political career and desire to serve his constituency will be caused to him,” the judge noted in judgment.

He was sentenced to three year jail term in October 2020 in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand in 1999. He was then Union Coal Minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. Mr. Ray was one of the founding members of Biju Janata Dal and after few years, he left the party following disagreement with leadership of the regional party. Subsequently, he joined the BJP.

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