Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Tuesday announced candidates for two left out Lok Sabha seats and seven Assembly segments. The ruling party nominated Pallahara MLA Mahesh Sahoo and Chandrani Murmu for Dhenkanal and Keonjhar MP segments respectively.
As sitting Dhenkanal MP Tathagata Satpathy has pulled out from electoral politics, the regional party has fielded Sahoo for the Dhenkanal seat.
Sahoo, a former RSS man, will contest for a Lok Sabha seat for the first time. He had been elected to 11th (1995-2000), 12th (2000-2004) and 13th (2004-2009) Assembly on a BJP ticket from Talcher seat. Later, he joined the BJD and was elected to Assembly in 2014 from Pallahara seat.
Similarly, the regional party denied ticket to sitting Keonjhar MP Sakuntala Laguri and picked up former MP Harihar Soren’s granddaughter Chandrani Murmu for the Keonjhar Lok Sabha seat. Murmu got the party ticket just a day after her joining the BJD.
The Chief Minister said the ruling party has fulfilled its promise of giving 33 per cent reservation to women candidates in Lok Sabha. Out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the BJD has nominated women candidates for seven seats—Sundargarh, Aska, Jajpur, Koraput, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Keonjhar.
The party also denied tickets to five sitting MLAs. They included Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo (Athamallik), Anubhav Patnaik (Khandapara), Akash Dasnayak (Korei), Bijaya Kumar Mohanty (Bhubaneswar-Central) and Priyadarshi Mishra (Bhubaneswar-North).
Ex-BJP leader Mukesh Kumar Pal, who recently joined the BJD, got a ticket to contest from Pallahara while Rajya Sabha member Soumya Ranjan Patnaik will contest from Khandapara Assembly seat. Earlier, the party nominated RS members-PK Deb, Prasanna Acharya and Achyuta Samanta for Aul (Assembly), Bargarh (LS) and Kandhamal (LS) seats respectively.
Former Bhubaneswar mayor Anant Narayan Jena is the BJD’s nominee for Bhubaneswar (Central) whereas Sushant Kumar Rout will contest from Bhubaneswar (North) seat and Ramesh Chandra Sai from Athamallik. The party also gave a ticket to former BJP leader Ashok Bal who will contest from Korei Assembly seat.
The BJD has imposed faith on Pranab Prakash Das and re-nominated him for the Jajpur Assembly seat. With the latest list, the party has named candidates for all 21 Lok Sabha and 144 Assembly seats. Its decisions on three MLA constituencies— Kendrapara, Champua and Baripada— are still pending.