Himansu Shekhar Rout

The BJP and BJD seem to be now locked in a stalemate in 18 Assembly seats, where both parties are yet to announce candidates. Till date, both parties are keeping the cards close to their chests in these 18 Assembly seats.

As per reports, the BJD and the BJP have not announced their candidates for Balikuda-Erasama and Kakatpur Assembly seats under the Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha segment. In these two seats, the BJD is reportedly in a tailspin due to a bitter infighting.  

In Balikuda-Erasama, MLA Raghunadan Das, and party leaders like Soumyajit Mohapatra and Sanjib Biswal are in the race for a party ticket. Besides, Chiranjib Biswal, who recently left Congress and joined the BJD, is also in the race.  

On the other hand, the BJP is trying to weaponise the disgruntled and possible rebels of the BJD camp in this segment. 

Manoj Bhoi, ZP president of Jagatsinghpur said, "The party supremo will duly consider the candidature for the seat. The winnability of the candidates will be taken into consideration.”  

BJD’s situation in Kakatpur is no different. MLA Tusharkanti Behera and former MLA Surendra Sethi are both aspiring for a ticket. The BJP has not yet opened its card here too. 

Alok Patra, a supporter of Surendra Sethi said, "The party is delaying the matter and grassroots workers are in dilemma. If Sura Babu is not given a ticket, the party will suffer.” 

In the Khordha Assembly seat, MLA Jitu Mitra and Begunia MLA Rajendra Sahu are in the BJD ticket race, while Kalu Khandayatrai and Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev are aspiring for a BJP ticket. 

In the Sanakhemundi Assembly seat, which is under Congress incumbency, the BJD is mulling to field Nandini Devi’s daughter Sulakshana. The BJP is also looking for a matching candidate for the seat.  

BJD leader Gangadhar Patra of Sanakhemundi said, "The Chief Minister should give the right candidate for our area. But Nandini Devi is not fit for our area.”

Moreover, both parties have not named candidates for Jeypore, Chitrakonda, Champua, Bhograi, Kendrapara, Nilagiri, Telkoi and Bari Assembly seats. 

The BJP has announced candidates for 112 seats while the BJD has named candidates for 108 seats

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It is said that the BJD is haunted by the possibility of crossovers by the rebels. 

BJD MLA Swarup Das said, "The party's top leaders are taking decisions looking at various aspects.”  

BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said, "The party is examining various pros and cons of the candidates in some seats.”

(By Odisha TV Bureau)