BJP Declares First List of 10 Lok Sabha Candidates for Odisha, Jay Panda Finds Place
The party has re-nominated Sundergarh sitting MP Jual Oram, who would take on BJD’s Sunita Biswal, who is the daughter of former Congress chief minister Hemananda Biswal, and George Tirkey, a popular tribal leader, who joined the Congress.
MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda is greeted by Odisha BJP leaders a day after joining the saffron party, in Bhubaneswar on March 6. (PTI)
The BJP on Thursday announced its first list of 10 candidates in Odisha for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding three women candidates.
But the nine seats that will go to polls in the first two phases on April 11 and April 18, candidates for four - Koraput, Kalahandi, Bargarh and Kandhamal - are yet to be announced.
The party has re-nominated Sundergarh sitting MP Jual Oram, who would take on BJD’s Sunita Biswal, who is the daughter of former Congress chief minister Hemananda Biswal, and George Tirkey, a popular tribal leader, who joined the Congress party last year.
Ending all speculation about whether he would contest, ex-BJD MP Baijayant Panda, who joined the BJP earlier this month and was appointed national vice-president soon after, has been fielded from Kendrapada- a seat that he has represented on a BJD ticket earlier.
Interestingly, BJD is yet to announce its candidate from Kendrapada. Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik had announced from there that one third of the party’s candidates for Lok Sabha would be women.
The BJP has fielded three-time MP Sangeeta Singh Deo from Bolangir. She would be up against sitting BJD MP Kalikesh Singh Deo. Sangeeta is married to BJP leader Kanaka Vardhan Singh Deo, a six-time MLA from Patnagarh.
The Congress has fielded veteran leader Nrusingha Mishra from Bolangir. This constituency will see a triangular contest.
The candidature of ex-IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi from Bhubaneswar is entirely on expected lines. A 1994 cadre officer, Sarangi had opted for voluntary retirement in September while serving as joint secretary in Ministry of Rural Development.
She joined the BJP two months later in Delhi in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah, petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP's Odisha in charge Arun Singh.
Among her many assignments was her record while serving as commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation that led the BJP to pitch her from Bhubaneswar, traditionally a BJD bastion.
While Congress has backed CPM's veteran leader Janardan Pati from Bhubaneswar, BJD is likely to drop its five-time sitting MP Prasanna Patasani and field former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik from there.
Patnaik had joined the BJD in 2018 after his retirement. A three-time sitting BJD MLA is also in the running. Sarangi hails from Bihar and is married to serving joint secretary rank IAS officer Santosh Sarangi.
Former BJD MP Balabhadra Majhi's candidature from Nabrangpur is also on expected lines. Majhi had joined the BJP barely weeks before after being denied a ticket from BJD.
Anita Priyadarshini from Aska is BJP's third woman candidate in this list. Anita is the daughter of former minister in Naveen Patnaik cabinet Ramakrushna Patnaik.
Interestingly, BJP chose a woman to taken on BJD's Pramila Bisoi, a grassroots Self Help Group leader, who would be contesting for the first time.
Ananta Naik, former BJP MP from Keonjhar, two-time former MLA and a grassroot level activist Pratap Sarangi from Balasore, Rudra Narayan Pani from Dhenkanal and state general secretary of BJP, Bhrigu Baxipatra from Berhampur, are the four other candidates declared by BJP.
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