Vikash Sharma

Odisha is currently witnessing an unusual pattern. With just days left for the filing of nomination papers for the first phase polls, not a single political party has been able to announce its complete list of candidates.

The Odisha unit of the Congress party is much behind the ruling BJD and BJP as far as announcing the names of candidates is concerned. The Congress so far has been able to declare candidates for 49 Assembly seats out of 147 and 8 Lok Sabha seats out of a total 21.

However, senior Congress leader Bijay Patnaik on Tuesday said that the party has already finalised its candidates and the names will be announced soon.

“As per procedure, the list of candidates will be put before the Screening Committee and approved by the CEC. The process is on and the tickets will be announced soon,” said Patnaik.

When asked if Congress is becoming weak in the state, Patnaik said that there is no truth as every day new faces, be it from the BJD or BJP, are joining the party.

“The strength of Congress is increasing day by day. Those who do not have faith in Congress’ policies and ideologies are leaving the party and others who have faith are joining the party,” Patnaik added.

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