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Discontent with Congress, BJD over candidate list, Odisha lawmakers feel betrayed

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 March 2019, 9:23 IST

A day after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and opposition Congress released the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha and Odisha assembly elections, discontent voices came to the fore on Tuesday in both the camps.

Some of the senior leaders of both the parties have already resigned, while a few others made clear their intention to join the rival camp.

BJD's sitting MP from Kanadhamal, Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh, who has been denied a party ticket for the 2019 polls, said she would either join another party or contest the polls as Independent.

"I have told the party chief (Naveen Patnaik) about my willingness. If I don't get a chance to contest from Nayagarh, I may think of joining another party or contest the polls as Independent," Ms Pratyusha, the successor of erstwhile Nayagarh rulers, told reporters.

She said that Nayagarh was the bastion of her late husband Hemendra Singh.

Mr Patnaik has named Achyut Samant as the BJD candidate for Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat.

Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari said he has also written a letter to the chief minister, expressing his "displeasure" over denial of party ticket.

Mr Keshari and his wife Malvika Devi had met Mr Patnaik a few days before the release of the candidate list. "We feel betrayed as I am not consulted before fielding a new candidate in my place," Mr Keshari said.

Mr Patnaik had on Monday announced the name of Dharmagarh MLA Pushpendra Singhdeo as the party candidate for the Kalahandi seat.

Two other BJD leaders, Kusum Tete and Pramod Patnaik, also tendered their resignations from the primary membership after being denied party tickets to contest the assembly elections.

Ms Tete, who quit as chairperson of the Sundargarh Special Development Council (SDC), on Tuesday indicated that she will contest the polls from the Sundergarh seat as an Independent candidate.

In the Congress fold, former MLA Sadhu Nepak resigned from the party after being refused a ticket from the Bargarh assembly segment.

The candidate list named Nipan Das for Bargarh. Congress' Jeypore MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati also expressed his displeasure over the move to not renominate all the sitting MLAs of the party as per the "earlier" decision.

"There are two to three aspirants for one post. In the process, one person gets the seat and others oppose. We give priority to the winnability and nothing else," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said.

Meanwhile, its Mahila wing president Sumitra Jena said: "We are disappointed that only one woman candidate figures in the list of 42 names declared by the party so far. We are waiting for the final list. If adequate women are not made candidates, there will be resentment."


First published: 20 March 2019, 9:20 IST