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Why does Naveen Patnaik prefer turncoats as LS candidates?

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
April 04, 2024 17:36 IST
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In the lead-up to the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Odisha, there's a flurry of party-switching among leaders, with the ruling Biju Janata Dal nominating around 30 percent turncoats as candidates.

IMAGE: Former cricketer Ravi Shastri meets with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, March 21, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Out of the 20 candidates announced by the BJD for the 21 Lok Sabha seats, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's party has nominated at least seven leaders who came from either the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress.


The turncoats who have been nominated by Patnaik for the Lok Sabha elections are Surendra Singh Bhoi (Bolangir), Parineeta Mishra (Bargarh), Bhrugu Baxipatra (Berhampur), Manmath Routray (Bhubaneswar), Ansuman Mohanty (Kendrapara), Pradeep Majhi (Nabarangpur) and Dhanurjay Sidhu (Keonjhar).

While a number of senior leaders including former MP Prasanna Patsani were in the race for the party ticket from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat, Patnaik preferred to pick Manmath Routray, a commercial pilot and son of six-time Congress MLA Suresh Routray. He was given BJD ticket within hours of his induction in the regional outfit.

In the case of the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, Patnaik denied re-nomination to the party's sitting MP Chandrasekhar Sahu.

The party elevated Sahu to the post of vice-president and manifesto committee chairperson before announcing the name of Bhrgu Baxipatra as its candidate. Baxipatra joined the BJD on Wednesday.

Similar was the case of BJP leader Parineeta Mishra. Mishra and her husband Sushat joined BJD after resigning from the saffron party on Wednesday afternoon and got Patnaik's nomination in the evening.

Baxipatra, who was a vice-president of BJP and a party cadre for last 23 years, will take on Pradeep Panigrahy, a former close aide of Patnaik. Panigrahy was expelled from the BJD in November 2020.

Baxipatra, was the runners up in Berhampur Lok sabha seat in the 2019 polls. Patnaik preferred to field him in the seat after dropping incumbent MP Sahu.

In Balangir parliamentary constituency, the BJD has fielded Surendra Singh Bhoi, a three-time Congress MLA and a former minister. He joined the party on March 29 and got a ticket on April 3.

BJD also picked ex-Congress MLA Anshuman Mohanty and fielded him as its candidate. Similarly, Patnaik fielded Pradeep Majhi as the BJD's Nabarangpur candidate. Mahji was a former Congress MP and got elected in 2009. He had joined the ruling dispensation ahead of 2022 panchayat polls.

The ruling BJD denied nomination to its sitting MP Chandrani Murmu from Keonjhar and fielded former Congress MLA from Champua Dhanurjaya Sidu as its candidate from the seat.

In 2019, Sidu had contested on a BJP ticket from Telkoi assembly seat and lost to BJD's Premananda Nayak by 5,920 votes.

Sidu then switched to BJD ahead of the 2022 panchayat polls, following which Nayak resigned from the party and joined the BJP.

Similarly, the BJP from among its 21 Lok Sabha candidates, picked three BJD leaders and fielded them. They are Bhatruhari Mahtab (Cuttack), Pradeep Panigrahy (Berhampur) and Malavika Keshari Deo (Kalahandi).

Malavika Keshari Deo, wife of former MP Arka Keshari Deo, is a member of the royal family of Kalahandi district.

Arka Keshari Deo was elected to Lok Sabha from Kalahandi in 2014 as a BJD candidate after the death of his father Bikram Keshari Deo, who won the seat thrice.

Arka and his wife quit the BJD after being denied tickets in 2019 and joined the BJP in 2023.

Cuttack's sitting MP Mahtab, who resigned from the BJD on March 22 and joined the BJP on March 28, was announced as the saffron party's candidate from the same seat.

Gopalpur MLA Panigrahy, who was expelled from the BJD in 2020, joined the BJP in February and was fielded as a saffron party aspirant from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. Panigrahy will face BJD's Baxipatra in the polls.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

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