Biju Janata Dal candidate and former Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain on Wednesday won the bye-election to the Athgarh Assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival Suresh Chandra Mohapatra by 47,390 votes.

Mr. Swain, a four-time MLA, polled 87,604 votes, while Mr. Mohapatra, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) general secretary got 40,214 votes, an official in the Chief Electoral Officer’s office in Bhubaneswar said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bikram Dash got 2,452 votes in the seven-cornered contest at Athgarh constituency in Cuttack district where voting for the bypoll was held on March 18, 2012.

Mr. Swain, popularly known as ‘Raja’, was not allowed to contest the 2009 general elections from the constituency although he was the official nominee of the ruling BJD.

His nomination papers were rejected by the then returning officer of the constituency in a blow to Mr. Swain and his supporters.

Mr. Swain, however, emerged triumphant when Orissa High Court nullified the returning officer’s action and ordered fresh elections in the constituency. The Supreme Court later endorsed the HC’s verdict upholding the order for a fresh poll in the segment.