After BJD & Congress, now ticket tempest hits Odisha BJP

Bhubaneswar: After dissidents’ heat singe BJD and Congress, now it’s the BJP’s turn to face the same ahead of the 2019 elections in Odisha.

After much speculation and delay over announcement of candidates for the general elections in Odisha beginning April 11, the BJP on Thursday approved the names of candidates for 99 Assembly constituencies and 10 Lok Sabha seats for the upcoming general elections to the Legislative Assembly in Odisha.

However, the party is yet to finalise candidates in 13 Assembly constituencies going to polls in first phase and 12 other seats in second phase.

The party has fielded 64 new faces including several ministers or MLAs from other parties, including Damodar Rout, Prakash Behera, K Narayan Rao, KusumTete. A total of nine women candidates, including BJP Mahila Morcha unit chief PravatiParida, have been given tickets for the upcoming polls. As the party has re-nominated five of its sitting MLAs, it is hopeful of putting up a better show this time.

Even as the party has announced candidates for 10 LokSabha seats in the State, it is yet to declare candidates for Kalahandi and Koraput Parliamentary constituencies where elections to be held in first phase. Talks are doing rounds that the party state unity chief Basant Panda is keen to contest from Kalahandi. Similarly, the name of Pradipta Nayak and Arka Keshari Deo are also in the race.

While Jayram Pangi is among one of the favourites for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat, the party is in quandary over candidates for Bargarh and Kandhamal.

Meanwhile, fresh dissent brews within the party as supporters of party leader from Bhubaneswar, Amiya Das, an aspirant for Ekamra Assembly constituency, staged a sit-in front of the party headquarter office yesterday. Some disgruntled workers also ransacked office of the party unit in Laxmipur opposing the candidature of Kumuda Saunta today.