BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced candidates for two Lok Sabha and seven Assembly constituencies nominating former mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Ananta Narayan Jena and Rajya Sabha Member Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for Bhubaneswar-Central and Khandapada seats respectively.
While Jena replaced sitting BJD MLA Bijoy Mohanty in Bhubaneswar-Central, Patnaik was chosen for Khandapada Assembly seat in place of incumbent MLA Anubhav Mohanty. Jena was lobbying hard for a ticket to contest the Assembly elections even after his appointment as chairman of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) with Cabinet rank. He was also given organisational charge of Bhubaneswar district BJD by the party supremo.
The five sitting MLAs who were denied renomination include popular cine star Akash Dasnayak from Korei Assembly seat. Dasnayak was elected to the Assembly from Korei in 2014 polls after defeating his nearest Congress rival Biswajeet Nayak by a margin of over 42,800 votes. However, he has been replaced by Ashok Bal, a new entrant to the regional outfit. However, BJD has retained former minister Pranab Prakash Das from Jajpur Assembly constituency.
Besides, the regional outfit has also denied ticket to sitting MLA from Bhubaneswar-North Assembly seat Priyadarshi Mishra and replaced him with Sushanta Kumar Rout. Former minister Sanjeev Sahu has also been denied ticket from Athamallik Assembly seat. The BJD has nominated Ramesh Chandra Sai from the seat.
The ruling party also named new candidates for Dhenkanal and Keonjhar Assembly seats. While sitting BJD MLA of Pallahara Mahesh Sahu has been fielded from Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat, Chandrani Murmu has replaced Shakuntala Laguri in Keonjhar Lok Sabha constituency. A mechanical engineer and granddaughter of former Keonjhar MP Harihar Soren, Chandrani is the youngest Lok Sabha candidate to have been fielded by BJD.
A new face, Mukesh Pal, has been fielded by BJD from Pallahara Assembly constituency. While the regional outfit has announced its candidates for all 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, it is yet to announce nominees for Kendrapara, Champua and Baripada Assembly seats.