Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has not yet announced its candidates for `12 Assembly seats as many heavyweights are said to be lobbying for tickets. The delay in the announcement of candidates and denial of tickets to senior and sitting MLAs have triggered revolts by their supporters at several places.

The candidates for Korei and Bari seats have not been announced as yet. It is said that a tug-of-war is going on between BJD organizational secretary Pranab Prakash Das and the family of former Prafulla Ghadei for the Korei seat. Pranab is reportedly lobbying for a BJD ticket to his brother Bhabaprasad Das while Jhilik, wife of Sukinda MLA Pritiranjan Gharai, is hopeful of a ticket.

In Bari, sitting MLA Sunanda Das and party leader Biwaranjan Mallick are in the race for a BJD ticket. Sunanda enjoys the support of most of the Yadavs and women.

Debendra Das, husband of Sunanda said, ”We are always with people. Our supporters and voters are worried about the delay in the decision. The Chief Minister will take the right decision in time.”  

In Hindol, the supporters of sitting MLA Simarani Nayak have rallied behind her as the party is dithering on the candidate selection. Senior BJD leaders like Sudhir Samal and sitting MP Mahesh Sahoo are also lobbying for a ticket in Hindol.

Kabindra Das, a supporter of Simarani said, ”We will support the candidate who has been looking after the organisation. If any other candidate is given a ticket, we will strongly oppose him.” 

The ruling party is said to be looking for a new face in Khordha Assembly seat while sitting MLA Jitu Mitra is hopeful of a ticket.

In Begunia, the BJD is reportedly mulling to field senior leader and sitting MLA Rajendra Das to Khurda. Party leader Pradip Sahu is hoping for a ticket in Begunia. 

In Bhograi seat, sitting MLA Ananta Das is seeking a party ticket for his son and he had made a show of his strength at Naveen Niwas earlier. But there are two other ticket aspirants Goutambudha Das and Bhubanananda Das for this seat. 

Former MLA Anubhab Patnaik is lobbying for a ticket in Khandapara seat while the chairpersons of Khandapara and Bhapur blocks have been organising workers in their support.

However, BJD leader Sushant Rout said, ”The BJD will form the government in Odisha in 2024. The party will also get more Lok Sabha seats.”  

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, ”The party is likely to land in deep trouble in the 12 seats if it announces tickets. There are multiple ticket aspirants in these seats. Managing revolts will be tough for the BJD."
 

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  • JAGDISH DAS , SOUMYA RANJAN SAHOO , Rajashree Satpathy
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