Naveen Patnaik again trapped in triangular contest in Odisha.


Dr. Samrendra Pathak
Senior journalist.

Bhubaneswar : Once again a triangular contest is going to take place in Odisha. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could not form an alliance in the state and both the parties are now contesting the elections on their own. Congress is clapping separately.

There are 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 assembly seats in Odisha and Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are scheduled to be held simultaneously in four phases on 13, 20, 25 May and 1 June.

In the elections held in 2014, Biju Janata Dal got about 43 percent votes. Apart from this, Congress got the support of 25.6 percent and BJP got the support of 18 percent voters. In the year 2019, the situation of BJP changed and it became the second largest party in the state after BJD. However, even after this Naveen Patnaik took oath as the CM of the state.

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik released the first list of 9 candidates for the Lok Sabha and 72 for the state assembly, yesterday. Mr Patnaik himself will contest from Hinjili Assembly constituency.

BJD General Secretary Organization Pranab Prakash Das has been made the candidate from Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, where he will face Union Minister and BJP candidate Dharmendra Pradhan. Odisha minister Sudam Marandi will contest from Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat, while former Indian hockey team captain Dilip Tirkey will face former Union minister and outgoing MP Jual Oram from Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat.

Other candidates for the BJD Lok Sabha seat include Lambodar Niyal - Kalahandi, Ansuman Mohanty - Kendrapara, Prajip Kumar Majhi - Navrangpur, Manmath Routray - Bhubaneswar, Kaushalya Hikaka - Koraput and Ranjita Sahu - Aska.

Mr Patnaik himself will contest from Hinjili Assembly constituency in Ganjam district. The 72 candidates announced for the Assembly include 13 new faces and 12 women candidates.

The BJP last Sunday announced the names of its candidates for 18 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, while dropping four sitting MPs from the list. The party has not yet announced candidates for Cuttack, Jajpur and Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituencies.

The party has fielded four women - Aparajita Sarangi - Bhubaneswar, Sangeeta Kumari Dev - Bolangir, Malvika Keshari Dev - Kalahandi and Anita Subhadarshini from Aska.

The sitting MPs who have not been given tickets by BJP this time include Suresh Pujari - Bargarh, Union Minister Bisheshwar Tudu - Mayurbhanj, Nitish Gang Deb - Sambalpur and Basant Panda - Kalahandi.

The party has nominated Pradeep Purohit in place of Mr Pujari, while Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has replaced Nitish Gang Deb in Sambalpur.