Senior Congress leaders rally behind former CM Janaki Ballav’s son for Begunia ticket

Bhubaneswar: Discussions over the entry of Prithvi Ballav Patnaik, the son of former Odisha CM late Janaki Patnaik, into politics has started to make headlines in the State. Prithvi, who sparked intense political speculations a few months ago when he hinted about his keenness to join politics and fight the upcoming general elections from Begunia Assembly Constituency, has once again expressed his interest to contest elections.

While Prithvi himself has been optimistic that his candidature from Begunia constituency, from where his father had contested and won the election, would prove beneficial, the party’s top leadership however has been ambiguous over the matter.

On Tuesday, Prithvi Ballav claimed that his main aim is the resurgence of Congress in the Begunia constituency and he asserted that he would also fight for the cause if given the chance.

However, the State Congress chief, Niranjan Patnaik today said “The party is ready to make Prithvi a candidate, but he has expressed his unwillingness to contest election.”

On the other hand, senior Congress leaders have come forward to support Prithvi’s candidature.

Party leader Suresh Routray claimed that former CM late JB Patnaik had urged him to make his son contest polls from Begunia, while another senior leader Tara Bahinipati said that it would be a matter of pride for Congress if Prithvi is allowed to contest.

“He (Prithvi) has already announced that he would fight elections from Begunia and we are confident that he would come out with flying colours in the elections,” said Routray.

Bahinipati said, “I fully support the decision and I believe that a good personality like Prithvi should contest polls.”