Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 22:
Rajya Sabha MP Sashi Bhushan Behera will contest the Jayadev seat in place of sitting MLA Arabindo Dhali, the former BJP leader from Malkangiri who was imposed on the constituency in 2009. One reason why Dhali lost his ticket is his ongoing legal tussle with Sanjita Dhali who claims to be his daughter, sources said.
Behera, who earlier represented the Jayadev assembly constituency, is the fourth BJD Rajya Sabha member to be summoned to face the polls.
While sitting MLAs Bijay Mohanty and Ashok Panda have been offered tickets for the seats they hold today, there is no clarity on whether Bhagirathi (Mitu) Badajena would be favoured this time. The BJD had not fared well in his constituency in the last urban polls.
Film maker and former NCP leader Prashant Nanda, who joined the BJD along with three other NCP MLAs in 2012, has not been given the ticket for his old seat Begunia. Prashant Jagdev has replaced him there as the BJD candidate. Nanda may be offered a ticket elsewhere, party sources said.
Naveen has not risked making too many changes and has dropped only those who are not in a position to cause much damage to the party’s prospects in their respective areas.Ageing MLAs like Jugal Patnaik and the controversial minister Badri Patra have been favoured while in Simulia, the ticket has gone to the son of the sitting MLA, Parsuram Panigrahi.