Will BJD and Soumya Ranjan make up or BJP have him ?

The leader is reportedly contemplating contesting from the Ghasipura constituency in Keonjhar district on a BJP ticket.
 Soumya Ranjan Patnaik
Soumya Ranjan Patnaik (Photo | Express)

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the BJD is reportedly trying to warm up to sitting Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik after expelling him, hoping he would accept renomination from the seat, the leader is reportedly contemplating contesting from Ghasipura constituency in Keonjhar district on a BJP ticket.

The BJP is in touch with Patnaik after he was expelled from BJD for anti-party activities in September last year. The saffron party has reportedly left it to Patnaik to choose any constituency he would like to contest from.

“The offer was given to Patnaik after obtaining permission from top leaders of BJP, especially Union Home Minister Amit Shah. State BJP president Manmohan Samal is stated to have offered Ranpur Assembly seat to Patnaik before the release of the first list of candidates for 112 seats which the latter declined,” party sources familiar with the development told The New Indian Express. The BJD is reportedly keen to nominate a family member of Patnaik from Khandapada seat for which there are a large number of contenders including former MLA Anubhav Patnaik.

Meanwhile, Samal has been working out a suitable date for the induction of the Khandapada MLA into the BJP. With Shah coming to the state on April 25 to attend a public rally at Sonepur, chances are BJP will grab the opportunity to formalise Patnaik’s induction on the day.

Patnaik’s choice of Ghasipura stems from the fact it was the seat of his elder brother and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik who had tried his luck from Bhandaripokhari in 2019 after repeated drubbings at the hand of sitting BJD MLA and former minister Badri Narayan Patra. He has got the party’s renomination from Bhandaripokhari this time. The Patnaiks hail from Anandpur of Keonjhar district where they have business interest in mining for decades.

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The New Indian Express