Odisha MLA Soumya hints about joining BJP, contesting from Ghasipura Assembly seat

Earlier in the day, Patnaik had gone to Puri to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath from where he proceeded to Ghatagaon.
Odisha MLA Soumya hints about joining BJP, contesting from Ghasipura Assembly seat

BHUBANESWAR: After maintaining a low profile for more than seven months after his expulsion from the BJD, Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on Tuesday hinted that he may contest from Ghasipura Assembly constituency of Keonjhar district on a BJP ticket.

Talking to reporters at Ghatagaon after offering prayers at Maa Tarini shrine, Patnaik said there have been offers from different political parties including the BJP. The offer from the saffron party came through state unit president Manmohan Samal, he said.

“There has been requests from different political and non-political groups of Ghatagaon and Ghasipura blocks to take the responsibility of this Assembly constituency by accepting the BJP offer. I have come here to seek the blessing of Maa Tarini and her guidance to chart out my next course of action. I have left it to the BJP to take a decision about my candidature. Everything will be clear within a day or two,” he said.

Asked if there was any chance of his accepting the offer by the BJD for renomination from Khandapada, Patnaik said, “I was elected on a BJD ticket from the seat with a highest margin but the party has expelled me for anti-people activities. I am yet to figure out why the party has not announced any candidate for the seat.”

To a query on his winning chances from Ghasipura, which is now a fort of sitting BJD MLA Badri Narayan Patra after winning the seat five times (two times from erstwhile Ramanchadrapur seat which became Ghasipura after delimitation in 2008), Patnaik said, “Patra had tasted victory five times while I have had the experience losing many elections. I don’t fear another loss.”

He further said Patra has been winning elections by using muscle and money power. “A time will come when a fort falls and may that happen this time as people are now fed up with the hooliganism of his family,” Patnaik said.

The younger brother of senior Congress leader and Patra’s bitter rival Niranjan Patnaik, he said many Congress leaders of the constituency have extended their support to him even after learning that he may get nomination from the BJP.

Earlier in the day, Patnaik had gone to Puri to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath from where he proceeded to Ghatagaon. On the way to Maa Tarini temple, he was accorded receptions at many places by local people.

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