Vikash Sharma

The ruling BJD on Wednesday announced its fifth list of candidates for the 2024 Assembly election. As per the list, three sitting MLAs have been denied tickets to contest this time. Former Minister and Nimapada MLA Samir Dash has failed to secure a ticket as the party nominated Dilip Nayak this time from the constituency.

The BJD has also changed its candidate for the Kuchinda Assembly seat. The party has roped in Rajendra Chatria in place of sitting MLA Kishore Naik.

As part of its strategy for the 2024 elections, the ruling party has also denied tickets to Chitrakonda MLA Purna Chandra Baka. The party has given a ticket to Laxmipriya Nayak to contest from Chitrakonda Assembly seat.

The seats of two senior leaders- Prasanna Acharya and Rohit Pujari have been swapped. Acharya has now been nominated for the Rairakhol Assembly seat while Pujari will now contest from Sambalpur. Earlier, Acharya was fielded from Sambalpur and Pujari from Rairakhol. Acharya was reportedly unhappy to contest from the Sambalpur Assembly segment.

In his reaction, Acharya said, "I had never expressed my reaction against the party's decision. When the party supremo has now taken a decision, I extend my gratitude towards him. I have been working in the party organisation for the last 45 years. I have never said no to anything and whatever decision has been taken by the party president, I will abide by it. I had only given suggestion to the party regarding internal affairs."

Acharya said, "As I had only shared my experience regarding the organisation. It is not for the first time that a political party has changed its candidate and this is nothing new in politics."

BJD supremo and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik will also be contesting from two Assembly seats- Hinjili and Kantabanji.

Also Read: BJD announces 5th list of candidates, CM Naveen Patnaik to contest from Kantabanji

"CM Naveen is not a leader of a particular district or region. He is loved by the people of the state and they invite him to contest the election from their area," said Acharya.

When asked whether CM would keep Hinjili and vacate Kantabanji as he had done with the Bijepur seat in the last election, Acharya said, "CM fights from Hinjili and serves the entire state. No matter where he wins, he will continue to serve the people of all districts."