Cuttack: BJP candidate, Bikram Dash along with six other candidates filed the nomination papers on the last day of filing nomination on Wednesday for the much-hyped Athagrh by-election which is scheduled to be held on March 18.

With this, the number of candidates went up to 10. BJD candidate Ranendra Pratap Swain, Congress candidate Suresh Mohapatra and two other independent candidates had earlier filed their papers.

Among the candidates who filed their papers on Wednesday, include Gagan Behary Rout of the Samrudhha Odisha, Bratati Chatterjee of the Utkal Bharat and three independents namely Bijay Kumar Biswal, Ranjan Kumar Mishra and Bhagirathi Rout.

Before filing his papers, Dash went to the local Jagannath Temple and seeking blessings of the Lord, he offered pujas in the Temple. Dash accompanied by thousands of enthusiastic party workers and supporters then went in a colourful procession to file his papers.

BJP State Chief Jual Oram and Rajya Sabha member Rudra Narayan Pany, along with several district-level leaders of the party accompanied Dash.

It is noteworthy to mention that Scrutinization of the nomination papers will be done today and the last date for withdrawal has been fixed to March 3.