Himansu Shekhar Rout

Even as confusion is prevailing over a possible alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) despite some saffron leaders ruling out such a possibility, Mahanga legislator Pratap Jena dropped broad hints at a public meeting on Saturday about MLA Prashant Behera to contest again from the Salipur assembly seat this time.

Such an announcement by a legislator before the ruling party’s announcement about the names of candidates has political circles abuzz with speculations on candidature for the seat.   

Addressing a public meeting at Malasasan of Salipur, Jena said that Prashant Behera would come out victorious by a margin of 50,000 votes this time.

“Elections are coming. I told you(people at the meeting) one thing five years ago. Do you remember if that prediction came true? Today, I also predict one thing and you note it down. Prashant Behera will come out with flying colours at least by a margin of 50,000 votes in the coming elections,” he said.    

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He also asserted before the people that they should note down and remember his prediction about Behera’s electoral victory in the upcoming elections. 

On the other hand, BJP’s Cuttack district unit president Prakash Behera took exception to this announcement and said, ”The BJD as a political party may have discipline, His party supremo has not yet announced names of the MLA candidates. Such open announcement and assertion by the BJD legislator well ahead of the elections violates his party’s discipline.”

He also said that it is laughable on the part of a legislator to announce the name of another as a nominee for the upcoming elections.

(Report by Manoj Acharya)