Ahead of the crucial 2024 polls, it seems that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come up with a new strategy for the Lok Sabha battle by fielding its sitting MPs to contest on MLA tickets. With this, the BJP plans to field new faces as its candidates for the Lok Sabha. It is speculated that six out of eight BJP MPs may contest the Assembly elections in 2024 in Odisha.
Such speculations are now rife after the BJP released its second list of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. Three Union Ministers-Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel, and Faggan Singh Kulaste have been named as party candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.
Apart from these three Union Ministers, the BJP has also fielded four MPs in the Assembly battle in Madhya Pradesh. A similar formula is also likely to be implemented in Odisha as well.
In the probable list, the names of Kalahandi MP Basant Panda, Bolangir MP Sangeeta Singh Deo, Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, Sambalpur MP Nitesh Gangadeb, Mayurbhanj MP and Union Minister Bisweswar Tudu and Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi are doing rounds. It is being said that the BJP may field new candidates in these Parliamentary constituencies.
There is also a buzz that Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi and Sundargarh MP Jual Oram will fight the Lok Sabha battle. It is also speculated that Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be the party’s Lok Sabha face from Sambalpur or Dhenkanal, Ashwini Vaishnaw from Balasore, and BJP’s National Spokesperson Sambit Patra from Puri.
“MPs may contest in Assembly segments. The party decides on candidates after assessing the ground situation and there is no strategy as everything depends on the leader’s popularity. Everybody is supporting PM Modi,” said MP Pratap Sarangi.
BJP MLA, Bhudan Murmu said, “In Madhya Pradesh, MPs have been given MLA tickets. A similar thing may happen in Odisha. If I am given an MP ticket, I will accept it and it will not be tough for me as I am with the people on the ground.”
Amid such speculations, Kalahandi’s ex-MP from BJD, Arka Keshari Deo along with his wife joined the BJP today. Arka Keshari joined the saffron party along with his wife Malvika Devi and now speculation is rife about the seat from which the party will field him.
It is speculated that if Basant Panda is fielded in the Nuapada Assembly seat, then Arka Keshari or MLA Pradipta Naik may be the party’s pick for the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat. There is also a buzz that Arka Keshari or his wife Malvika may also contest from Junagarh Assembly seat in the coming polls.
Odisha BJP President Manmohan Samal said, “The party will be strengthened in Odisha. Today, it is the day of joining of new members. The Parliamentary board will decide the candidates.”
“My father had served the party for long and today I have joined it as a small worker. I will visit the area and strengthen the party's bond with people,” said Arka Keshari Deo.