Sandhyarani Das
Sandhyarani Das

Odisha: Pranab Prakash Das’s mom to fight from Korei as BJD candidate

Meanwhile, announcement of candidates from Khandapada and Nilgiri has sparked resentment.

BHUBANESWAR: Putting an end to speculations, BJD on Thursday announced Sandhyarani Das, mother of party organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das, as its candidate from Korei Assembly seat in Jajpur district. Sandhyarani replaces Ashok Kumar Bal, the party’s sitting MLA from the constituency.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the list of candidates for the last three Assembly seats including much-awaited Korei. The party has changed the candidate for Deogarh Assembly seat by replacing Arundhati Devi, wife of Sambalpur MP Nitesh Ganga Deb of BJP, with Romancha Ranjan Biswal who had contested the 2019 elections unsuccessfully.

The chief minister also announced Sabitri Pradhan as the party’s candidate from Khandapada Assembly seat overlooking the claim of former MLA Anubhav Patnaik. Similarly, BJD has given ticket to Sukanta Nayak from Nilgiri Assembly seat. Nayak has consecutively won from the seat in 2014 and 2019 on BJD and BJP tickets respectively. Nayak had resigned from the BJP and rejoined BJD recently.

The candidature of Sandhyarani from Korei is being seen as a back-up plan for Das who is BJD’s candidate from Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat where he is pitted against BJP heavyweight and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. If Das fails to win, he can always get himself elected from Korei. The seat in Jajpur district is a family stronghold of Das and represented by his father Ashok Das five times.

BJD’s Khandapada candidate Sabitri is the chairperson of Bhapur block. The regional party had to change its candidate from the seat as sitting MLA, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik was expelled from the party.

Meanwhile, announcement of candidates from Khandapada and Nilgiri has sparked resentment. Former MLA Anubhav Patnaik, a strong contender for a ticket this time from the seat, has resigned in protest. He is set to file his nomination as an Independent candidate on Friday. In his resignation letter to the chief minister, the former MLA said his father Arun Patnaik was with Biju Patnaik since 1985 and mother Bijaylaxmi Patnaik, a two-time MLA from the seat had worked to strengthen the party’s organisation in the constituency. Patnaik said he had worked to strengthen organisation in the constituency. Santosh Khatua, the BJD candidate from Nilgiri in the 2019 also resigned from the party after his claim for a ticket was ignored.

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