Odisha Elections 2024: Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Prasanna Patasani May Join BJP Soon

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and former Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patasani are likely to join the BJP soon.

Speculation is rife that Soumya may get ticket from the saffron party to contest the upcoming Assembly elections from Ghasipura in Keonjhar district.

On September 21, 2023, Soumya, son-in-law of former chief minister J B Patnaik, was expelled from the BJD on charges of anti-people activities over his alleged involvement in a loan scam. This came a week after he was removed from the post of vice-president following his criticism of a state-wide tour across all districts by V K Pandian, then 5T secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in two signed editorials in Odia daily Sambad.

Following his ouster from the party, the EOW of Odisha crime branch raided the office of Eastern Media group run by him over the alleged organised loan scam.

Amid these allegations and raids, Soumya had to quit the post of editor of leading Odia daily Sambad.

Patasani, who won the Bhubaneswar LS seat five times in a row, was denied BJD ticket to contest the 2019 elections. He was hopeful of getting a Rajya Sabha nomination from BJD in 2020 but that never came through. There were reports that the party might field him from Chilika Assembly segment in the upcoming elections but his candidature is being opposed by another ticket aspirant Raghu Sahoo.

Both parties are mum over the speculation but sources aware of the developments said the two leaders are likely to join the BJP in New Delhi soon. Soumya and Patasani are also yet to reveal their plans before the media.

OB Bureau

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