Former Odisha CM, Congress leader Hemananda Biswal announced not to contest the 2019 elections

Bubaneswar: A day after senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra announced his decision not to contest the 2019 elections, veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Hemananda Biswal on Friday also made a similar announcement.

Biswal said he had fought the 2014 elections at the age of 74 as the party insisted for it. But he is not keen to contest elections anymore due to the age factor. Like Narasingha Mishra, he said it is not justified to contest polls beyond 70 years of age.

However, this has led to a debate about contesting elections after the age of 70. BJD leader and Higher Education Minister Ananta Das said as long as one is fit and the party wants him, he can contest elections and serve the constituents.

His Cabinet colleague Damodar Rout said as one grows older, he gets more experienced and gains more political wisdom. There is no reason why one shouldn’t contest elections after 70 years.

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