New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Brainstorming sessions over selection of candidates continue in three major political parties in Odisha even as the Election Commission has issued notification for two phases of polling. None of the parties has released a complete list so far while the ticket aspirants pass every passing day in uncertainties.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress have announced the names of a few nominees for constituencies going to polls in the first two phases (April 11 and April 18), whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to release its first list for Odisha.
The elections to nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly seats come under the first two phases.
The BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) met in Delhi to discuss the candidates for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies in Odisha. However, the party’s CEC has not released any list so far even after holding two marathon meetings at its headquarters.
Sources in the BJP have indicated that the party is looking for “renowned candidates” like Baijayant Panda, Damodar Rout and sitting MPs and MLAs who may jump the fence into the saffron courtyard.
Meanwhile, many senior BJD leaders including sitting MLAs, former MP and former MLAs have joined the saffron camp after being denied tickets in their “base camp”. The BJP may pick many of them while selecting the candidates, the sources said.
The Congress which has released a list of six Lok Sabha candidates has released 36 nominees for the Assembly. The party, however, has not announced candidates for three Lok Sabha and 27 Assembly seats that go to polls in the first two phases.
Sources said the Congress has been debating over the names of Mary Suren and Saptagiri Ulaka for Koraput parliamentary seat. The party is said to be in a dilemma over two nominees for Bolangir – Prafulla Bhatra and Samrendra Mishra, son of Congress floor leader Narsingha Mishra. The party has an alliance with CPI for Aska Lok Sabha seat.
In its first list, the Congress has named 12 sitting MLAs as candidates. The party’s CEC will meet March 22 to finalise names of the remaining candidates.
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