Odishatv Bureau

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday released its last list of three candidates for the Assembly elections.

With this list, the BJD has declared candidates for all 147 Assembly constituencies for the upcoming state elections.

The party in a surprise move also changed its candidate for the Deogarh Assembly seat.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that Romanch Ranjan Biswal will be the party’s nominee for the Deogarh Assembly seat in place of Arundhati Kumari Devi who was earlier named as the party’s candidate on April 17.

Biswal had fought the previous Assembly elections from the Deogarh constituency but lost to Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Subash Chandra Panigrahi by around 7,000 votes.

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Arundhati Devi’s husband Nitesh Gang Dev is the senior BJP leader and the sitting MP of the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat. He is related to the royal family of Bamra in Sambalpur district.

Recently, several reports about Gang Deb’s resignation from the BJP came up in the local media based on a post on the BJP leader’s Facebook account. However, he later denied resigning from the BJP and clarified that his Facebook account had been hacked.

Apart from the Deogarh seat, the ruling party declared Sandhya Rani Das as the candidate for the Korei Assembly seat in Jajpur district replacing the sitting MLA Ashok Kumar Bal. Sandhya Rani, the wife of former Janata Dal strongman Ashok Das, is the mother of BJD heavyweight and party candidate for Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, Pranab Prakash Das.

Sitting MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak was renominated from the Nilgiri Assembly constituency of Balasore district. The ruling party fielded Sabitri Pradhan in the Khandapada Assembly seat in place of expelled leader and businessman Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.

Names of BJD Assembly Candidates:

  • Khandapada: Sabitri Pradhan

  • Nilgiri: Sukant Nayak

  • Korei: Sandhya Rani Das

Notably, the voting for 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 Odisha Legislative Assembly seats will be held in the last four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. 

On May 13, as many as 28 Assembly seats and four Lok Sabha seats (Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput) will go to polls. Similarly, 35 Assembly seats and five Lok Sabha seats ( Bargarh, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska) will go to polls on May 20; 42 Assembly seats and six Lok Sabha seats (Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar )  on May 25 and the remaining 42 Assembly seats and six Lok Sabha seats (Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur) will go to polls on June 1. 

The counting of votes is scheduled to be held on June 4, 2024.