Arup Patnaik Seeks Blessings Of Lord Jagannath In Puri, Will BJD Field Him For Lok Sabha?

Puri: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former IPS officer Arup Patnaik along with party colleagues from Puri Lok Sabha constituency sought blessings of Lord Jagannath at the 12th century shrine in the pilgrim town on Thursday.

Their visit to Jagannath Temple comes amid speculations that Patnaik may be fielded by the ruling BJD for Puri Lok Sabha constituency. Similarly, the six party leaders who accompanied Patnaik are speculated to get nominated by BJD for  the Assembly seats under Puri parliamentary constituency.

This comes after a meeting at Naveen Niwas three days ago with the same BJD leaders of Puri and another meeting organised by Patnaik in which all the probable BJD candidates from Puri were present.

It was the party’s first meeting at Naveen Niwas to reportedly discuss the possible candidates for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections even as speculation on possible alliance between BJD-BJP continues.

Notably, Patnaik had contested from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency in 2019 as a BJD candidate. He was defeated by BJP’s Aparajita Sarangi.

The leaders who accompanied Patnaik to the Shree Mandir were Sunil Mohanty, Sanjay Kumar Das Burma, Umakanta Samantaray, Rudra Maharathy, Arun Sahoo and Satya Narayan Pradhan. It is speculated that they may get BJD tickets for Puri, Satyabadi, Brahmagiri, Pipili, Nayagarh and Ranpur Assembly seats, all falling under Puri Parliamentary constituency.

BJD’s Rajya Sabha member Subhashish Khuntia was also seen with them.

According to party sources, BJD is likely to declare their names in a day or two and they would start campaigning in their respective constituencies soon.

“BJD always starts its political campaign with blessings from Lord Jagannath. The decision on candidates for Puri was taken at Naveen Niwas though it is yet to be announced,” Puri BJD District President Dibakara Patra told media.

However, Patnaik, the former Police Commissioner of Mumbai chose not to reveal the party’s plan. He told media that he had come only for a darshan of the Holy Trinity. “What can be a bigger pleasure than coming back to my land? It’s the Lord’s desire,” told Patnaik.

It may be recalled that BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had lost Puri to BJD’s Pinaki Mishra in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by a margin of only 11,700 votes. He is likely to be the BJP candidate from Puri once again and this time he would not be new for people of Puri which has until now been a BJD stronghold.



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