Pradeep Pattanayak

A day after the Congress announced its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party’s screening committee meeting to finalize candidates for Odisha was convened in New Delhi on Saturday. 

The meeting was attended by Odisha in-charge Ajoy Kumar, OPCC chief Sarat Pattanayak, and senior leader Narasingha Mishra, among others. The leaders had a discussion on the list of candidates for the Odisha Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha approved by the Pradesh Election Committee. 

After the Screening Committee’s approval, the list of probable candidates will be sent to the Central Election Committee (CEC). The CEC will prepare a final list and send the same to the party high command for approval. 

Also Read: Congress sees opportunity in Odisha amid unsolved political equations 

Informing about the development, OPCC chief Pattanayak said, “Today’s meeting ended on a very positive note. A good number of MP and MLA seats were discussed. The selected names will be sent to the CEC. Once the list is finalized by the CEC, the names will be announced.”

With the suspense over the alliance between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deepening further, the state Congress unit seems to be adopting a ‘wait and watch’ policy. In case of an alliance, many leaders of the BJP and the BJD may cross over to the Congress as OPCC chief Pattanayak had hinted yesterday.

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