BJD dumps old guards in fresh list of candidates for Odisha state polls

bjd dumps old guards in fresh list of candidates for odisha state polls

BJD dumps old guards in fresh list of candidates for Odisha state polls

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday dropped six sitting MLAs including two former ministers from the fresh list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Odisha.

Two veteran politicians and former ministers Amar Prasad Satapathy and Sashi Bhusan Behera, both incumbent MLAs were denied party tickets as the regional party announced the 6th list of candidates for the Assembly polls for nine more seats. Three more sitting MLAs Bhagirathy Sethy, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minakhi Mohanta and Sudhansu Sekhar Parida were also dropped from the list of contestants.

Of the nine candidates nominated for party tickets, four are women candidates.

Prominent among those who were given party tickets included Congress deserter Ganeswar Behera, a former minister during the Congress government.

The regional party sprung a major surprise in naming Odia movie actor Varsha Priyadarshini from the politically significant Barchana assembly seat as replacement od six-time MLA Amar Prasad Satapathy.

Priyadarshini, who will make her electoral debut, had incidentally joined the BJD fold on Thursday. Her husband Anubhav Mohanty, the incumbent BJD MP from Kendrapara parliamentary seat, had quit the regional party to join BJP after being denied ticket.

The regional party also named former MLA Sanatan Mahakud as its candidate from the mineral-rich Champua Assembly seat in Keonjhar district.

Makakud, widely regarded as one of the richest politicians in the state, was a trade union leader before he had switched over to the business of transporting ores. Later he plunged into politics and lost the assembly polls in 2009. However he emerged victorious in 2014 from the Champua assembly seat as an independent candidate.

The rags to riches story of Mahakud and his grip in several areas in the iron-ore-rich Keonjhar district is often talked about in Odisha’s political circles.

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