Himansu Shekhar Rout

For the 2024 elections, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has reportedly leaned heavily on dynasty and family which is reflected in the candidates announced by the party for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha. 

The kith and kin of political leaders were chosen as new faces of the party this time and they are expected to rise and ride on the political legacy despite earlier claims by party leaders that there is a long queue of 10,000 ticket aspirants.

Congress veteran and Jatani legislator, Sura Routray’s son Manmath Routray has been pitted against BJP candidate Aparajita Sarangi in the high-profile Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat. Manmath is expected to get the vote bank of his father, who has already announced to hang up his boots in electoral politics.
   
Another leader who is inheriting the political legacy of his late father is Anshuman Mohanty, fielded by the BJD in the prestigious Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat. His father Nalini Mohanty was a BJD stalwart in the Rajnagar area but had been expelled from the party. Anshuman, who was earlier with Congress, recently joined the BJD.

BJD’s another candidate is Ranjita Sahoo who has been picked up for the Aska Lok Sabha seat. Her father Hara Sahoo is aspiring for a party ticket from the Kabisuryanagar Assembly seat in Ganjam. Hara had been regrouping the BJD workers. The BJD has tried to appease Hara by choosing his daughter for the Aska LS seat, only to pave the way for Latika Pradhan in Kabisuryanagar Assembly seat.

The BJD’s list of political legatees chosen as candidates for the 2024 elections is long. Former BJD stalwart Surjya Narayan Patro’s son Biplab Patra has been chosen for the Digapahandi Assembly seat while late Maheswar Mohanty’s son Sunil Mohanty has been fielded in the Puri Sadar Assembly seat. 

The ruling party has chosen Chinmayananda Srirup Deb for the Chikiti Assembly seat, which is currently represented by his mother Usha Devi. In Patkura, former BJD leader Bijoy Mohapatra’s son Aravinda Mohapatra has been given a ticket. 

Aravind Mohapatra said, "I had taken the blessings of my father before joining the party. I have grown up in a political family and politics is nothing new to me.” 

BJD leader Chinmayananda Srirup Deb said, "My mother has been in politics since 1984 and she handed over the baton to me. I will try to take her work further.” 

Former Balasore MP Rabindra Jena’s wife Subhasini Jena has been picked for the Basta Assembly seat while three-time MLA Purnachandra Swain’s wife Sanghamitra Swain has been chosen for the Sorada Assembly segment and Nabarangpur MLA Sadasva Pradhani’s wife Kaushalya Pradhani has been fielded in the Umerkote seat.

Similarly, former MLA Subash Gond’s wife Nabina Nayak and former Congress MLA (Bhawanipatana) Dushmant Nayak’s wife Lalita Nayak have been announced as MLA candidates. 

Lalita Nayak said, "Because of my husband, who is a former MLA, people know me.” 

Nabina Nayak said, "My husband was MLA for two terms. Our party supremo, and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik decides who will be given tickets.”   

“My husband was a three-time MLA and I will try to complete the works which have been left out,” said Sanghamitra Swain.

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