Odisha Elections 2024: BJD Announces More Assembly Candidates; Varsha Priyadarshini Fielded In Barchana

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday announced its 6th list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Odisha.


Ollywood actor Varsha Priyadarshini, who joined the regional outfit on Thursday, was named the party candidate for Brchana Assembly seat in Jajpur district. BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the fresh list of nine candidates through a video message.

Varsha’s entry into the ruling BJD came after her ex-husband and actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty quit the regional outfit and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She would be fighting her maiden electoral battle. Varsha replaces sitting BJD MLA and former Minister Amar Prasad Satpathy in the politically-sensitive constituency.

Similarly, former Minister Ganeswar Behera, who recently resigned from Congress and joined BJD, has been nominated from the prestigious Kendrapada Assembly seat by the regional party. Senior BJD leader and former Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera represents Kendrapada in the outgoing Assembly.

In another significant move, BJD has fielded former MLA Sanatan Mahakud as its candidate from Champur Assembly seat in Keonjhar district. Sanatan, who wields considerable influence in the mineral-rich district, is closely linked to mining business.

Described by many as a ‘king-maker’, Sanatan was earlier elected as an independent candidate from the seat in 2014. BJD candidate Minakshi Mahanta had won the seat with his support in 2019 elections.

Notably, the regional party has changed candidates for eight seats in the fresh list of nominees for nine Assembly constituencies except in Karanjia, where it has renominated sitting MLA and Minister for Women and Child Development Basanti Hembram.

BJD’s fresh list for Assembly elections includes four women, two from the Scheduled Tribes category and two from the Scheduled Castes category. Of the 147 Assembly seats, the party has so far announced its candidates in 135 constituencies in the state. The regional party has already announced its candidates for all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

List Of Candidates:

1.Chilika: Raghunath Sahu
2.Anandpur: Abhimanyu Sethi
3.Saraskana: Debashis Marndi
4.Karanjia: Basanti Hembram
5.Remuna: Bidyasmita Mahalik
6.Simulia: Subhashini Sahu

7.Barchana: Varsha Priyadarshini
8.Kendrapada: Ganeswar Behera
9.Champua: Sanatan Mahakud

The new list showed that five sitting BJD MLAs failed to get party ticket. They are Anandapur MLA Bhagirathi Sethi, Simulia legislator Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Amar Prasad Satpathy (Barchana), Shashi Bhusan Behera (Kendrapada) and Minakshi Mahanta (Champua).

Three of the dropped sitting legislators happen to be former Ministers. They are Amar Satpathy, Sashi Bhusan Behera and Jyoti Panigrahi.

In Chilika, the party has reposed faith in Raghunath Sahu, who had won the Assembly elections from the seat in 2009. Prasanta Jagadev had replaced him in 2019 after Sahu lost to BJP candidate Bibhuti Bhusan Harichandan in 2014. Though it was anticipated that senior leader and former MP Prasanna Patasani may be the next choice, Sahu managed to get BJD ticket.

Abhimanyu Sethi has been fielded in Anandpur by replacing sitting MLA Bhagirathi Sethi. Abhimanyu is the husband of Hatadihi block chairperson Sabitri Sethi.

Chairman of the Special Development Council, Mayurbhanj, Debasish Marandi, has been given ticket for the Saraskana. He had unsuccessfully contested the Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat in 2019 and lost to the BJP’s Bishweswar Tudu.


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