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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: They say charity begins at home and BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who declared to nominate women in 33 per cent Lok Sabha constituencies, seems to have been following it  if reports of  a woman candidate from BJD being fielded from the Aska Lok Sabha constituency, are to be believed.

Naveen launched his political career from Aska (LS) but later on contested from Hinjli constituency which is an assembly segment under the LS. And incumbent legislator V Sugyani Deo from Kabisuryanagar will likely to be the BJD's face from Aska LS in 2019.

Top party sources confirmed that Aska LS seat, that goes to poll on April 18,  will have a woman face in 2019 elections. The list for second phase poll is almost in final stages and will be released in next 3-4 days, claimed a senior BJD leader. Party has almost taken a decision to field V Sugyani Deo from Aska LS, he added.

It is important to note that when Naveen Patnaik resigned from Aska LS to take over the mantle of Chief Ministership in 2000, in the LS by-election, Kumudini Patnaik, wife of BJD veteran Ramakrushna Patnaik, was nominated. She is now in BJP.

Though many names were doing rounds, after analysing the 'winnability' criteria laid down by the Chief Minister, the name of V Sugyani Deo, tops the aspirant list.

An analysis of the Aska electorate since 2004 brings to fore the revelation that BJD has been pitting the Kabisuryanagar MLA as Aska LS candidate.

Harihar Swain, who  represented Kabisuryanagar in the 11th Vidhan Sabha, had successfully contested  as BJD candidate from Aska LS in 2004, post the rebellion by Ramakrushna Patnaik and his wife Kumudini Patnaik against BJD. In 2009, veteran CPI leader and Kabisuryanagar MLA Nityananda Pradhan joined BJD to fight Aska LS seat. And late Ladu Kishore Swain, the then Kabisuryanagar MLA, contested successfully from Aska LS in 2014.

The fixation with Kabisuryanagar is not without reason. The assembly segment happens to be second-largest one in the Aska LS. The  LS seat has seven assembly segments namely Polasara, Kabisuryanagar, Khallikote (SC), Aska, Surada and Hinjili (constituency of CM Naveen Patnaik). Sources reveal that except Khallikote (SC), all assembly segments will see repeat of the incumbent MLAs. Voter trends on ground reveal that BJD is sitting quite pretty in Sanakhemundi, Surada, Hinjili and Kabisuryanagar, but the party has a tough contest at hand in Polasara and Khallikote.

While Srikant Sahu is incumbent MLA of Polasara, Purna Chandra Sethi is sitting MLA of Khallikote and Purna Chandra Swain represents Surada. V Sugyani Deo is reining MLA of  Kabisuryanagar and Dharakote royal family member Nandini Devi holds BJD fort in Sanakhemundi.  Polls in the assembly constituencies will be held on April 18 and date of nomination starts from March 26.

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