Himansu Shekhar Rout

Like the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Congress seems to have retained its dynastic dependence as reflected in the lists of candidates for 8 Lok Sabha and 49 Assembly seats which were released by the party on Tuesday.

The Congress has even gone to the extent of giving tickets to two members of a family to fight polls, though some new faces have been given chances

Congress veteran Bhujabal Majhi and his daughter Lipika Majhi have been given party tickets. Bhujabal has been fielded as Congress nominee for the Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat while Lipika is the party's MLA candidate for Dabugaon (ST) Assembly seat.

The other example is the father-son duo of former Union Minister and Congress veteran Bhakta Charan Das and Sagar Das. Sagar will contest as MLA candidate in Bhawanipatana (SC) Assembly seat while his father will contest from the Narla Assembly seat under the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat.

Though Congress veteran Narasingha Mishra has already announced his retirement from politics, the party has given a ticket to his son Samarendra Mishra to fight from the Bolangir Assembly seat, only to carry on his father’s political legacy.

Also Read | Congress announces list of candidates for 8 Lok Sabha and 49 Assembly seats in Odisha

Senior journalist Askhaya Sahoo said, "Dynastic politics is nothing new to Congress. The party had allowed dynasts in politics and has retained the tradition too.”

He pointed out that the BJD had earlier made dynastic politics of the Congress a major issue and took political mileage. "If we look at the last 24 years of politics in Odisha, the party that has promoted dynastic politics most prominently is none other than the BJD," he observed, adding that the ruling party has become a fertile platform for dynasts.

He observed that no parties in Odisha are above dynastic politics.

Congress legislator Taraprasad Bahinipati explained, "Tickets were distributed on the basis of a survey. No partiality has been done in the process.”

Congress leader and Bolangir MLA Narasingha Mishra’s son Samarendra Mishra said, "In the last 10 years, the people of Bolangir have seen how a people’s representative can do so much development in his area. People’s support is with us.”

Congress leader Lipika Majhi said, "People are going through problems want leaders like us. We honoured their wish. And that is why we are here now.”

Congress veteran Bhakta Das said, "I am going to the Assembly because I want to protect the values of the pro-people administration and safeguard democracy. We need a pro-people government in Odisha. It is a matter of dignity of Odias and progress of Odisha.”