Pradeep Pattanayak

For the upcoming Odisha Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday announced the names of candidates for 112 constituencies out of 147. 

Striking a balance, while the party has fielded as many as 49 new faces, it has reposed faith in 63 leaders and re-nominated them. The list of announced by the party on Tuesday features quite a few heavyweights as well. 

While the party’s state president Manmohan Samal will contest from the Chandbali seat, Suryabansi Suraj has been fielded from Dhamnagar. Suresh Pujari, Jayanarayan Mishra, Mohan Majhi, Kusum Tete, Tankadhara Tripathy and Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo have been nominated for Brajarajnagar, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Patnagarh Assembly constituencies respectively. 
Similarly, Mukesh Mahaling, Irasis Acharya, Akash Das Nayak and Prithviraj Harichandan are contesting from Loisingha, Bhatli, Korei and Chilika Assembly seats respectively. 

For Puri, Brahmagiri, Bhubaneswar-Ekamra, Bhubaneswar Central, Jayadev, Bhubaneswar North, Hinjili, Berhampur, Digapahandi, Gopalpur, Patkura and Nayagarh seats, the party has picked up Jayant Sarangi, Upasana Mohapatra, Babu Singh, Jagannath Pradhan, Arabinda Dhali, Priyadarshi Mishra, Sisir Mishra, K Anil Kumar, Siddhant Mohapatra, Bibhuti Jena, Tejeswar Parida and Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh respectively. 

Also Read: BJP announces list of candidates for Assembly seats in Odisha; check full list

That the saffron party has also laid importance on next-generation faces is clear from the list announced. The political greenhorns who are taking baby steps in politics are Upasana Mohapatra, daughter of late Congress leader Lalatendu Mohapatra, and Abhinandan Panda, son of Basant Panda. The party has nominated Upasana instead of her uncle Lalitendu from the Brahmagiri constituency and Abhinandan instead of his father from the Nuapada seat. This time, Basant Panda has been dropped. 

“I would like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party’s National President JP Nadda for whom I have been nominated from the Brahmagiri Assembly constituency. I have come thus far with the blessings of BJP state president Manmohan Samal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Sambit Patra, my uncle Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra and the people of my constituency. I am sure I will get the support of all to win the election,” said a visibly confident Upasana.