Incarcerated-Maoist's wife gets Cong ticket in Odisha

Subhashree alias Mili is the wife of state’s most wanted Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is currently behind bars after his arrest five years back. (Image courtesy Twitter/ Odisha Congress)

The Congress has decided to field Subhashree Panda as its candidate in Ranpur Assembly constituency in coastal Nayagarh district during the ensuing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha.

So what's unique about Subhashree?

Subhashree alias Mili is the wife of state’s most wanted Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is currently behind bars after his arrest five years back.

Who is Sabyasachi Panda?

Sabyasachi, who had a reward of Rs five lakh on his head, was involved in several high profiles Maoist-related violence in Odisha including the 2012 kidnapping of two Italian nationals in Kandhamal district.

Though subsequently they were released, the incident had triggered a sensation both inside and outside India.

He was also reportedly involved in the 2008 killing of Hindu religious leader Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.

This had led to Hindu-Christian riots in Kandhamal.

In July 2014, the state police managed to nab him from his secret hideout in Berhampur town in southern Odisha's Ganjam district, where he was hiding by changing his identity.

2-year jail

Subhashree too was once under police scrutiny and had spent almost two years behind the bars for her alleged Maoist links.

After getting the Congress nomination, Subhashree thanked AICC president Rahul Gandhi, PCC president Niranjan Patnaik and PCC acting president Chiranajib Biswal for reposing faith in her.

“If elected my first priority will be to carry forward the development work in Ranpur, which still remains very backward. I am sure the Congress will do well in the polls”, she said adding that she has been involved in social works in the area for a long time.

This is not the first time Subhashree will be fighting Assembly polls.

She had contested the 2014 elections from the same constituency on the ticket of Ama Odisha Party, a now-defunct regional outfit launched by Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, currently a senior BJD member.

She nevertheless had a poor outing, coming fifth position behind the BJD, the BJP, the Congress and the CPM.

Subhashree’s father-in-law Ram Panda was a mainstream politician and was a three-time MLA from Ranpur.

The Congress has so far declared its candidates for 8 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats and 90 out of 147 Assembly constituencies in the state.

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