Odisha Elections 2024: Know Why Selection Of Party Candidates Is Getting Delayed

Bhubaneswar: Ticket aspirants of major political parties in Odisha appear to be spending tense moments with their top bosses adopting a delaying approach to declare the full list of candidates amid open rebellion and a dynamic political scenario with probable candidates switching sides ahead of the twin elections.

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While the ruling BJD is yet to announce candidates for one Lok Sabha and 39 Assembly seats, the main opposition BJP is yet to release names of MLA candidates for 37 constituencies. The Congress, on the other hand, has declared candidates for only 47 Assembly and 8 Lok Sabha seats.

Odisha, where both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections will be held simultaneously, will vote in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

Multiple Aspirants Headache For BJD

The regional party is yet to declare its candidate for Balasore Lok Sabha constituency and might go for a woman candidate to fill up the one-third quota for the fairer sex, a trend which it started in 2019. While name of former minister Raghunath Mohanty’s daughter-in-law Barsha Soni is doing the rounds, Lekhasri Samantsinghar, the former BJP vice president who recently joined the BJD, is also in the race.

The party, which is yet to name nominees for Balikuda, Paradip, Kakatpur and Nimapada Assembly segments under Jagatsinghpur parliamentary constituency, also finds itself in a tricky situation in Kendrapada with many aspiring candidates and their supporters raising a banner of revolt against former Congress leader Ganeswar Behera, who was recently inducted into the Conch fold.

Multiple aspirants for tickets in Korei, Bari and Badachana Assembly seats in Jajpur have become a headache for the BJD, which is also treading cautiously before naming its candidates for Khurda and Begunia with two sitting MLAs lobbying for Khurda seat. While sitting MLA Jyotirindra Nath Mitra is seeking renomination, Begunia MLA Rajendra Kumar Sahoo is trying hard to shift there.

The Conch party is yet to decided on candidates for Bhograi and Nilagiri seats in Balasore and Saraskana, Karajia and Bangriposi segments in Mayurbhanj district. The same goes for Sanakhemundi and Lakshmipur under Aska and Koraput parliamentary constituencies, respectively.

BJP Treads Cautiously

While the saffron party has declared candidates for all 21 Lok Sabha seats, confusion prevails in 35 Assembly segments from where it is yet to announce its nominees. It is yet to clear the names of MLA candidates for Rajnagar, Kendrapada and Salepur seats under Kendrapada Lok Sabha segment. And if sources are to be believed, the saffron party is eyeing turncoats for these seats and waiting for BJD to announce its candidates.

Salepur Assembly seat featured in BJD’s third list of candidate released on April 5 from where the party has fielded former MLA and former BJP Cuttack district unit Prakash Chandra Behera, who recently switched sides.

Cuttack-Barabati is the another Assembly segment where the party is treading cautiously while Jagatsinghpur is witnessing an open show of strength by ticket aspirants. The party has also not picked candidates for Rairangpur, Bangriposi, Karanjia and Saraskana Assembly seats in Mayurbhanj and Bhandaripokhari and Basudevpur in Bhadrak. The same goes for Basta, Nilagiri and Bhograi seats in Balasore; Lakshmipur, Bisam Cuttack, Rayagada and Jeypore in Koraput; Sanakhemundi and Mohana in Ganjam.

Congress In Quandary

The Congress, which has been witnessing an exodus of prominent leaders from the party, is said to be waiting for the disgruntled cadres in BJP and BJD to switch sides amid this season of partyhopping. It is also looking for fresh faces to fill the vacuum created with the exit of heavyweights and probable candidates.

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