Face Saver: Tathagata Withdraws from Poll Fray Before Ticket Distribution


Bhubaneswar: Faced with the possibility of being denied party nomination for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, senior BJD leader and Dhenkanal MP Tathagata Satpathy has announced he will not contest the 2019 polls and focus on journalism.

Addressing a meeting in Angul on Monday, Satpathy said that he will meet BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and apprise him of his decision very soon.

Party sources, however, said Satpathy, a three-time MP, was unlikely to get the BJD ticket this time as the party top bosses doubted his chances of winning the elections. “Being a wily politician, Satpathy has got the hint and was also believed to be keen that a close
relative of his be fielded in his place. With that possibility also appearing remote, he has gone public that he would not contest ostensibly to save his own face and also send a veiled message to the party leadership that he can pose problems through his newspaper,” a senior party leader, preferring anonymity, told Odisha Bytes on Tuesday.

Incidentally, Satpathy (62), who is the owner-editor of Odia daily ‘Dharitri’, had, in his editorial sometime back, criticised the functioning of the BJD government. He is also said to be upset over the party making his media rival and owner-editor of Odia daily ‘Sambad’ Soumya Ranjan Patnaik a Rajya Sabha member.

Sources said the party was looking for a fresh face for Dhenkanal MP seat and Satpathy must have been well aware of it. Which is why he chose to make a public announcement of not contesting the polls before the party’s decision to deny him a ticket becomes public.

“His statement that he still owes his allegiance to party chief Naveen Patnaik is also indicative of his unhappiness with a powerful section within the party that is calling the shots,” the sources added.

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