With just 10 days left for the high-voltage Lok Sabha Elections 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced the names of three more candidates from Odisha. While Abhimanyu Sethi, the son of former BJD MP Arjun Charan Sethi, has been fielded from Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat, RSS activist Biswar Tudu and Amiya Mallick will be contesting from Myurbhanj and Jajpur constituencies respectively.
On Saturday, in a jolt to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party in Odisha, former Union Minister Arjun Charan Sethi resigned from the party after he and his son Abhimanyu Sethi were denied tickets to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019. BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik replaced Sethi, the eight-time MP, with Manjulata Mandal, the wife of sitting party MLA Muktikant Mandal, in Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituency.
With this, the BJP has announced names of candidates for 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha which will go to polls in the first four phases of the seven-phased Lok Sabha election later in the month. The general elections will begin from April 11 and continue till May 19.
Meanwhile, the party has also released the names of 11 candidates for the Odisha state assembly polls, with veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra being fielded from Patkura Assembly segment. He was elected to assembly from Patkura assembly segment four times in 1980 (by-polls), 1985, 1990 and 1995.
Mohapatra, who had resigned from the BJP four months ago, returned to the saffron party on Thursday. The 68-year-old stalwart said his move to come back to the BJP followed a detailed discussion with the party’s national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, who met Mohapatra at his residence in Bhubaneswar.
The BJP has fielded Sukant Nayak as its candidate for the Nilgiri Assembly segment. Nayak the sitting MLA was denied renomination from Nilgiri seat by the BJD. The Saffron party named Alok Sethi as its candidate from Anandapur assembly segment as its candidate Bhagirathi Sethi switched over to BJD even after getting ticket from the saffron party.
Other assembly candidates are - Naba Charan Majhi (Rairangpur), Dr Krushna Chandra Mahapatra (Morada), Bhagirathi Pradhan (Athamallik), Subhranshu Sekhar Padhi (Banki), Brajendra Ray (Athagarh), Bijay Pradhan (Mahakalapada), Jayanta Sarangi (Puri) and cine star Aparajita Mohanty from Bhubaneswar (North) segment.
Voting to 147 assembly seats in Odisha is scheduled to take place in four phases starting from April 11 and ending on April 29. The counting of votes for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls will be taken up on May 23.