Elections 2019: BJD announces 2nd phase candidate list for Assembly seats

By denying tickets to four sitting MLAs, BJD has hinted at a 'strategy change' in allotment of tickets due to the brewing resentment within the party.

Bhubaneswar: As electoral race gathers pace, the ruling-BJD today announced more names of the party candidates for the first two phases of 2019 general polls in Odisha.

Party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced names of the candidates for nine Assembly seats in the State. The ruling party had earlier declared candidates for 54 Assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats.

The BJD has fielded Arkesh Narayan Singh Deo as its candidate from Bolangir Assembly constituency amid speculations that he may be denied a party ticket, while sitting MLA Raseswari Panigrahi will once again contest from Sambalpur seat.

Kishore Mohanty will fight elections from Brajrajnagar Assembly constituency while sitting MLA Rohit Pujari has been nominated again for Rairakhol seat.

While Prakash Chandra Majhi, brother of minister Ramesh Majhi has been nominated to contest elections from Jharigaon after the latter was nominated to contest polls from Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat, the party has fielded some new faces like Pradeep Behera who will contest from Loisingha Assembly segment.

Some leaders of other parties who joined the ruling party recently have also been granted tickets. This includes Pritam Padhi from Pottangi and Pradip Kumar Dishari from Lanjigarh seat who both resigned from Congress to join BJD. Likewise, Mukunda Sodhi will contest elections from Malkangiri Assembly seat.

Meanwhile, four sitting MLAs have been denied ticket by the ruling party which includes Prafulla Pangi from Pottangi Assembly constituency, Balabhadra Majhi from Lanjigarh, Manas Madkami from Malkangiri and Jogendra Behera from Loisingha seat.

However, the party has not announced candidates for Phulbani and Birmitrapur Assembly constituency which will go to polls during the second phase of elections on April 18.