BHUBANESWAR: The BJD on Thursday announced Minakshee Mahanta as its candidate from Champua Assembly seat in Keonjhar district.
Minakshee replaced Ollywood actor Tatwa Prakash Satpathy, popularly known as Papu Pom Pom, who was fielded by the ruling party from the constituency in 2014 polls. Satpathy had finished third behind winning Independent candidate Sanatan Mahakud and runners-up Kusha Apat, also an Independent. Sanatan had won the Champua seat by 69,635 votes.
A protege of Sanatan, Minakshee was the State president of Jana Samruddhi Party floated by the former. Sanatan had recently met Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik seeking a ticket from Champua. Naveen, however, is reported to have agreed to field a candidate sponsored by the sitting MLA. Sources said the BJD candidate for Keonjhar Lok Sabha constituency Chandrani Murmu is also a close confidante of Sanatan.
On the other hand, the BJD is yet to announce its candidate for Kendrapara and Baripada Assembly constituencies.