Himansu Shekhar Rout

Candidate selection for parties has remained inconclusive for the much-talked-about Khordha, Begunia and Chilika Assembly constituencies of Khordha district. 

The BJP has finalized its candidate only for the Chilika seat while brainstorming is on to zero in on candidates for the other two seats. 
However, the BJD is in turmoil due to multiple ticket aspirants and each aspirant is reportedly being called to Naveen Niwas (CM & BJD president Naveen Patnaik's residence) for appeasement. The Congress is said to be hunting for candidates.

As per reports, Begunia and Khordha Assembly segments come under the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency where all three parties are yet to announce their candidates. The delay in picking up candidates has left the electorate confused.

For Begunia, the BJD has two ticket aspirants – sitting MLA Rajendra Sahu and party leader Pradip Sahu. The two aspirants were called to the Naveen Niwas for discussion on Wednesday. 

But the two leaders did not reveal what they discussed with party supremo and Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.  

Rajendra Sahu said, “I will accept the decision taken by the Chief Minister." 

Pradip Sahu said, "The decision of the Chief Minister will be the decision of the people of Begunia and Bolagarh. Who is selected as MLA candidate, he would win the election by a huge margin."

The BJP also has two aspirants – Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev and party leader Prakash Bijuli. Even Pruthivi Patnaik, son of the former Chief Minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik, has been organising the party for the last two years here. 

In Khordha, sitting MLA, Jyotindranth Mitra, Begunia MLA Rajendra Sahu and woman leader Basanti Mohapatra are in the race for a BJD ticket. 

Similarly, the BJP has two ticket aspirants – Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev and party leader Kalu Khandayatray. The Congress is looking for a candidate here. 

BJD leader Bibhuti Balabantray said, “Our leader & Chief Minister will decide the candidates. He can only say when the candidates will be selected. We have enough time.”

BJP leader Rashmiranjan Mohapatra said, "As we are going to form the government, the party is looking for the right candidates for the two seats" 

In Chilika, the BJP has fielded party leader Prithviraj Harichandan while the infighting has gripped the BJD. The BJD reportedly wanted to field former MP Prasanna Patasani from this seat; however, his name was opposed by former MLA Raghunath Sahu.  

Besides, names of BJD leaders Manas Mangaraj and Shrimayee Mishra are doing rounds for the seat.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “The parties are finding it difficult to select the candidates from among the new aspirants and sitting MLAs and imported leaders.”

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