Bhubaneswar, March 19: Displeased over the distribution of Congress tickets in the state, former Odisha chief minister and senior leader Hemananda Biswal Wednesday said he is “not interested” in contesting the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress party has fielded Biswal from the Sundergarh constituency that he had won in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Biswal said he is unwilling to contest because the party fielded two candidates from Bonei and Raghunathpalli assembly constituencies in his Lok Sabha area despite his opposition.
The elections to Odisha’s 21 Lok Sabha seats and the 147-member state assembly would be held simultaneously in two phases April 10 and 17.
He said the state leadership of the party was taking decisions arbitrarily and without consulting him and other senior leaders. He also expressed his surprise that the central leadership favoured such moves.
“I am not interested to contest the election,” he told reporters.
Biswal has served as a Congress legislator for six terms before being elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 general election.
He served as state chief minister twice for about four months from Dec 7, 1989 to March 3, 1990 and another four months from Dec 6, 1999 to March 5, 2000. He also served as a minister for several years.