Odisha Election 2024: Anshuman Mohanty Dismisses ‘Reluctant’ Kendrapada MP Candidate Tag

Bhubaneswar: Dismissing reports about his reluctance to contest as MP candidate from Kendrapada, Anshuman Mohanty on Thursday said he is committed to taking forward the Biju legacy and upholding the vision of BJD president Naveen Patnaik for the constituency.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the CM for nominating me from the prestigious Kendrapada seat, which has been represented by legendary leader Biju Patnaik. It was also the electoral ground of my father Nalinkanta Mohanty. I have been given this opportunity to speed up the development of Kendrapada. Earlier, I used to serve the people of Pattamundai and Rajnagar. With the CM’s blessings, I have got the opportunity to serve those in Salepur and Mahanga as well,” he said.

The former Congress MLA, who recently joined the BJD, said that the opposition had attempted to create a smokescreen of him dragging his feet to fight for the MP seat.  It was earlier reported that he was keen to become the party’s nominee from Rajnagar Assembly seat. Speculation was also rife the did not want to lock horns with Baijayant Panda, the BJP candidate from the constituency, due to certain reasons, and might request the party supremo to reconsider his decision.

Explaining the probable source of the rumour, Anushman that people of Rajnagar had hoped that he would contest from the Assembly constituency since they felt that distance would creep in between them if he took on the mantle of an MP.  “I want to assure them that I have been and will continue to be with them,” he added.

Sources, however, said that the BJD supremo had summoned leaders of Kendrapada district, including Ashuman, following reports of discontentment among the latter’s supports. Naveen had to personally step in after his supporters, who were to join BJD, went back in protest against his candidature from Kendrapada.

Anshuman won from Rajnagar in 2014 on Congress ticket but lost the 2019 election to BJD’s Dhruba Sahoo. He was the Kendrapada District Congress President since 2020 but resigned from the party on February 14 and joined the BJD two days later. His father Nalini, a political stalwart, also represented Rajnagar multiple times. Naveen had, however, expelled Nalini from the BJD forcing the latter to join the Congress.


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