BJP’s Pitambar Acharya to take on Naveen Patnaik in Hinjili

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today fielded senior advocate Pitambar Acharya as its candidate from Hinjili Assembly constituency, CM Naveen Patnaik’s home turf.

“In an interview to an English paper one year back, I had stated that CM will taste defeat from Hinjili and this time it is going to be true. Fearing defeat, the CM has decided to contest from Bijepur seat as well,” said Acharya.

BJP also announced its candidates for two Lok Sabha and nine Assembly constituencies today. While ex-DGP Prakash Mishra will be party’s face for Cuttack Lok Sabha seat, Kharavel Swain will contest from Kandhamal seat.

BJD’’s Rajya Sabha member Prashant Nanda’s son Risabh will be BJP’s candidate from Begunia Assembly seat. Candidates for other Assembly constituencies include- Dinesh Jain from Jharsuguda, Debendra Mahapatro from Rairakhol, Badrinarayan Dhal from Bhandaripokhari, Pradeep Nayak from Bhadrak, Debanarayan Pradhan from Phulbani, Samapad Swain from Paradeep, Narendra Nayak from Jayadev and Biswaranjan Jena from Jatni.

The Hinjili Assembly seat is considered a ‘safe seat’ for the BJD chief as Naveen has emerged winner four times in a row from here. However, as Naveen has filed his nominations from Bijepur seat as well, it has provided fodder to opposition parties to take a dig at Naveen.

Citing a report of the intelligence branch of Odisha Police which purportedly conducted an assessment and advised CM not to contest from Hinjili, the BJP leaders at a presser held last week stated that Naveen decided to contest from Bijepur as there is growing resentment in his home constituency.

Alleging that the intelligence report is fake and intentionally circulated by BJP to mislead people, BJD had moved the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) seeking action against the saffron party leaders.