BJD Rewards Bhrugu Baxipatra With Berhampur LS Seat; Announces Names Of 4 More MP Candidates

Bhubaneswar: The BJD on Wednesday announced Bhrugu Baxipatra as its candidate from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, hours after he snapped his 23-year-old ties with BJP and joined the Naveen Patnaik-led party.

The regional party has also named nominees for four other LS constituencies:

Balangir: Surendra Singh Bhoi

Bhadrak: Manjulata Mandal

Bargarh: Parineeta Mishra

Keonjhar: Dhanurjay Siddu

While the BJD has renominated sitting Bhadrak MP, Manjulata, Chandrasekhar Sahu (Berhampur) and Chandrani Murmu (Keonjhar) have been dropped. The other four MP candidates have been imported from other parties.

Though Bhrugu had lost to Sahu in 2019 elections, he got an impressive 3.49 lakh votes. He quit BJP after the party nominated Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi, who was expelled from BJD and joined the saffron camp in February, from Berhampur parliamentary constituency.

The party has rewarded another defector, Bhoi, with Balangir LS seat. A three-time Congress MLA and former minister, he resigned from the primary membership of the party after 38 years and joined the ruling BJD on March 29. He was elected MLA from Saintala twice in 1995 and 2000 and from Titilagarh in 2009.

Bhoi has replaced Kalikesh Singhdeo, who had unsuccessfully contested from the parliamentary constituency in 2019 after winning the seat in 2014. The party has fielded Kalikesh from Balangir assembly seat this time.

Though there were talks that the regional party might field senior leader Prasanna Acharya, who was discharged from hospital on Tuesday after suffering critical injuries in a car crash last month, from Bargarh, the party picked Parineeta Mishra, the wife of Sushant Mishra who defected from BJP and joined BJD.

Sushant had unsuccessfully contested as an independent candidate from Bhatli in 2014 and finished second behind BJD’s Susanta Singh. He had secured 37,496 votes. He was an aspirant for BJP ticket for Bhatli but after the saffron party chose Irasis Acharya, he shifted allegiance to BJD on Wednesday.

Also Read: Senior BJD Leader Prasanna Acharya Discharged From Hospital; Will He Contest Odisha Elections?

Former MLA Dhanurjay Siddu has been given the ticket for Keonjhar LS seat. He had won from Champual assembly seat in 2004 on Congress ticket. He, however, faced defeat in Telkoi in 2014 elections as Congress candidate and again in 2019 when he fought from the BJP camp. Siddu joined the BJD in December 2021.

With this, the BJD has announced candidates for all Lok Sabha seats, except Balasore, for the upcoming polls which will be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

In its first list released on March 27, the BJD had named nine candidates – Lambodar Nial (Kalahandi), Pranab Prakash Das (Sambalpur), Dilip Tirkey (Sundargarh), Odisha Minister Sudam Marndi (Mayurbhanj), Ansuman Mohanty (Kendrapada), Pradip Kumar Majhi (Nabarangpur), Manmath Routray (Bhubaneswar), Kausalya Hikaka (Koraput) and Ranjita Sahu (Aska).

In the second list, the party nominated former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik from Puri Lok Sabha seat against BJP’s Sambit Patra, and Santrupt Mishra from Cuttack seat against Bhartruhari Mahtab, who recently resigned from BJD and joined BJP.  It fielded Abinash Samal from Dhenkanal, and sitting MPs – Rajashree Mallik, Achyuta Samanta and Sarmistha Sethi – from Jagatsinghpur, Kandhamal and Jajpur respectively.

The party had then dropped six sitting MPs – Pinaki Mishra (Puri), Mahesh Sahu (Dhenkanal), Bhartruhari Mahtab (Cuttack), Anubhav Mohanty (Kendrapada), Ramesh Majhi (Nabarangpur) and Pramila Bisoyi (Aska).

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