Pradeep Pattanayak

The political landscape of the Korei Assembly constituency is becoming more and more intriguing with each passing day. While Biju Janta Dal (BJD) turncoat Akash Das Nayak has been nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the BJD and the Congress are still brainstorming to find their best candidates for the seat. 

At a time when the ruling conch party is cautious about the Korei seat which has been its fortress since 2009, a faction of the district BJD has started lobbying for a ticket to the party’s organizational secretary Pranab Prakash Das’ brother Bhabaprasad Das. To make things even more complicated, another faction has been demanding a ticket for Pritiranjan Gharai’s wife and actress Jhilik, who has already said she is ready to enter the fray if given a chance. 

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“If I am given an opportunity, I will join politics and fight for the people of Korei,” said Jhilik. 

Meanwhile, yet another faction is throwing its weight behind Pranab Prakash Das, who has already been nominated for the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat. Assembled at Sathipur, they demanded that the wheel of progress that started with Ashok Das should keep moving with his son Pranab Prakash Das. 

“If he can contest from Sambalpur then why not from Korei? If he is nominated from Korei, we the Korei people will welcome him,” said Sabita Rout, president of the Jajpur unit of Biju Mahila Janata Dal. 

As of now, several questions are doing rounds like will Pranab Prakash Das will be brought back to Jajpur and re-nominated from Korei? Will BJD president Naveen Patnaik pick one of his close aides? Will someone from the Gharai family be picked?  

Meanwhile, a rebel group has warned that none from Das or Gharai families should be fielded. 

“Ashok Das was in power for 25 years. What he has done for Korei? A word is doing rounds here that someone will get a ticket at the behest of Boby Babu. What he has done for Korei? He has only shifted all major government offices to Jajpur,” said Nilakantha Senapati, a disgruntled BJD worker. 

Political analyst Ramakanta Rout said, “People are with Akash Das Nayak. But the picture won’t clear till BJD doesn’t show its cards.”

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