The Congress on Sunday announced nine more candidates for assembly seats in Odisha. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik has been fielded from Bhandaripokhari assembly seat in Bhadrak district. He has already filed his nomination from Ghasipura Assembly seat in Keonjhar district.
The OPCC chief will be taking on BJD leader and state minister Badri Narayan Patra at Ghasipura and Prafulla Samal, also a minister, in Bhandaripokhari.
The party has also fielded Nalinikanta Mohanty from Bhadrak, Sitakanta Mohapatra from Barchana, Rabindranath Kar from Salepur, Bibhranshu Sekhar Lenka from Mahakalapada, Dr Lalatendu Mohapatra from Balikuda-Ersama and Satyabrata Patra from Nimapara.
In the new list, the party has replaced two of its candidates with new faces. Debi Prasad Mallick has been fielded in place of Bibhu Prasad Tarai for Tirtol Assembly seat, while Smruti Rekha Pahi was replaced with Kisan Panda from Dharmasala.
With this, the Congress has announced its candidates for all 136 assembly seats it is contesting in the ensuing elections. As part of seat adjustments with other parties, the Congress has left five assembly segments for the JMM and three each for the CPI and the CPI(M).
The state has 147 assembly seats. Similarly, the Congress has left three of the 21 Lok Sabha seats - one each for the JMM, the CPI and the CPI(M) - and has declared 18 candidates for the parliamentary seats.
The state is going to simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.