Bhubaneswar: After the tempest over party ticket distribution, BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the candidates list for the first and second phases of poll. The list reveals that the BJD has mainly dropped the MLAs who have lost by a narrow margin of votes or won narrowly in the range of 0.5 per cent to 2.05 per cent in 2014 elections.
Sample this: In Sundargarh Parliamentary constituency, BJD has brought in two new faces from Talsara and Bonai assembly constituencies. In 2014 elections, BJD Bonai candidate Dayanidhi Kishan lost to Congress by a margin of mere 1 per cent votes. The party has given ticket Ranjit Kishan from Bonai in 2019. Similarly, BJD has made Stephen Soren its face from Talsara in 2019. Binay Toppo was BJD's candidate in 2014, he lost to Congress narrowly by 1.05 per cent votes.
The case of replacing Ayub Khan in Kantabanji also reveals the same strategy of BJD. Ayub Khan had won the Kantabanji seat for BJD in 2014 by a margin of mere 2 per cent votes. Moreover, some controversial videos about him have made his case more untenable. And BJD has made Ajay Das its Kantabanji face in 2019.
Also, the party has brought in new faces where it has either lost to Congress or BJP. For instance, Saluga Pradhan replaced Pradeep Pradhan in G Udaygiri, who lost to Congress in 2014. The party has brought in Saluga who won the seat for BJD in 2000, when BJD-BJP fought elections in alliance.
However, some exceptions have been noticed too. The party has re-nominated Bijay Bariha from Padampur, who lost to BJP's Pradip Purohit in 2014 by a margin of over 4 per cent votes. And Sarada Nayak has been re-nominated despite losing to BJP's Dilip Ray by over 9 per cent votes. But here is a rider. BJD repeated its candidate in Padampur under Bargarh Lok Sabha, as CM Patnaik is contesting form Bijepur in Bargarh. Sarada Nayak was re-nominated after Dilip Ray resigned from BJP and the latter has even visited Naveen Niwas recently. It needs mentioning that Sarada Nayak was once a 'shisya' of Dilip Ray.