A prime accused in the Kandhamal communal riots, Manoj Kumar Pradhan, was among the two Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] candidates who won in two of the three assembly segments in communally sensitive Kandhamal district.
Pradhan won the elections while being lodged at G Udayagiri sub-jail in Kandhamal.
Pradhan, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist and follower of the slain Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxamananda Saraswati, won from G Udaygiri assembly seat by a margin of 23,918 votes defeating his nearest Congress rival and sitting MLA Ajayanti Pradhan.
While Manoj Kumar Pradhan got 44,978 votes, Ajayanti Pradhan secured 21,060 votes.
Though Pradhan was lodged at G Udaygiri sub-jail after he was arrested in December last year on charge of rioting, murder and arson, his wife and others were campaigning for him.
Pradhan is accused of being behind the communal riot which claimed at least 42 lives, burning and damage of hundreds of house and scores of churches at Kandhamal in the violence that drew international attention.
"Pradhan's victory was the peoples revenge against swamiji's killing," said BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Rudhra Narayan Pani who was also a party candidate from Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat.