Odisha Congress candidate Bibhu Prasad Tarai joins BJP

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the crucial 2019 elections in Odisha, political equations are changing thick and fast as leaders are changing loyalty after being denied tickets. A day after quitting Congress, senior leader Bibhu Prasad Tarai joined the BJP in Bhubaneswar today in presence of party’s national vice president, Baijayant Panda and other senior leaders in Bhubaneswar.

Though BJP has announced its candidates for 20 out of 21 Parliamentary constituencies, it is yet to name its candidate for Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat. It is believed that the saffron party might name Tarai as its candidate for the same.

Not only Tarai, Balabhadra Majhi, Kharabela Swain, former DGP Prakash Mishra and Bhadrak MP Arjun Sethi’s son Abhimanyu, all such leaders have managed to get BJP Lok Sabha tickets within hours of their joining. “As several leaders were associated with me, they will certainly work for BJP,” said Raghunath Mohanty.

The saffron party is yet to name its candidate for Kakatpur and Kendrapara assembly seats even though it has announced candidates for 145 out of 147 Assembly constituencies. Murali Sharma was named party’s candidate for Champua Assembly seat while Raghunath Mohanty, who joined the party after quitting BJD yesterday, has been fielded from Basta.

BJP so far has fielded 5 women candidates for Lok Sabha and 11 for the State legislature.