JAIPUR: Suspense prevails over BJD’s nominee from Korei Assembly segment in the district.
With BJD skipping the seat in its recent fourth list of candidates, speculations are rife whether the party will re-nominate sitting legislator Akash Das Nayak from the segment or opt for a new face. Delay in announcing the name for the segment has become an agonising affair for Akash as there are several contenders for the ruling party’s ticket for the seat.
The prominent contenders are bureaucrat Piyush Kanta Pani, Jajpur Zilla Parishad president Naresh Chandra Mohanty and Ashok Kumar Bal. Besides, Jajpur legislator Pranab Prakash Das is also reportedly lobbying to contest from Korei. Both Pani and Das are ahead in the ticket race, said sources.
Korei is considered a non-Congress bastion and was the home turf of Janata Dal’s Ashok Das, the father of Jajpur legislator Pranab Prakash Das. Between 1974 and 2014, Das won five times from the seat. Congress had won the constituency once in 1985.
For the last several years, the vote bank of BJD has been declining in the constituency. If the results of the last panchayat polls are taken into account, the party’s vote share has gone down by 7 percent. In such situation, retaining the seat will be a tough task for BJD if it renominates Akash this time. Hence, the party may field a new face here, feel political observers. They said if Pranab Prakash Das is given the ticket, a section of party workers and cadres may revolt against his candidature.
Congress has played the woman card by fielding Bandita Parida for the segment. BJP, on the other hand, replaced its regular candidate Sanchita Mohanty and gave its ticket to Biswajit Nayak who had joined the party two years ago after quitting Congress.