BJP Announces MLA Candidates For 112 Assembly Seats In Odisha, Rewards BJD Defectors

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday announced candidates for 112 of the 147 Assembly seats in Odisha.

The list includes state BJP president Manmohan Samal (Chandbali), Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra (Sambalpur), Former Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik (Bhawanipatna) and former state BJP president K V Singhdeo (Patnagarh). The saffron party has renominated most sitting MLAs except Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra for Brahmagiri, where he has been replaced by his niece Upasana, who is the daughter of former Congress heavyweight Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra.

Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, who was denied a LS ticket, will contest from Brajarajnagar. But the first Assembly list does not feature other dropped MPs like Nitesh Gangadev, Basanta Panda and Union Minister Bisheswar Tudu.

The party has instead given ticket to Abhinandan Kumar Panda, son of Basanta Panda, from Nuapada. The BJP has also fielded youth leaders Tejeswar Parida from Patkura, Irasis Acharya from Bhatli, and Tankadhar Tripathi from Jharsuguda.

Film stars Akash Dasnayak and Siddhant Mohapatra, who were recently inducted into the saffron fold after they quit BJD, will contest from Korei and Digapahandi seats, respectively. Another BJD defector and sitting Jaydev MLA Arabinda Dhali will seek reelection from the same seat on a BJP ticket. Former MLA Priyadarshi Mishra, who is the son-in-law of former Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patasani, has been given ticket for Bhubaneswar-North constituency.

Former MLA Purna Chandra Sethi, who quit BJD and joined the BJP on March 26, will contest from Khallikote assembly seat. He had won two consecutive elections from the constituency in 2009 and 2014 but was denied a ticket in 2019.

The BJP has also given ticket to former Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh to contest from Nayagarh. She had joined the saffron party after being denied a ticket by the BJD ahead of 2019 elections.

Former Congress legislator Nihar Mahananda has also be rewarded with a ticket for Attabira.

The party has already released list of its 21 Lok Sabha candidates from the state. Odisha will vote in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.




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