Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:
The names of BJD candidates for the remaining constituencies that go to polls in the first phase will be announced very soon, party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik said today.
The party is still not sure about who to offer tickets for three assembly seats – Bhanjanagar and Polsara (Ganjam) and Bolangir. While the sitting MLA from Bhanjanagar Bikram Keshari Arukh’s name is being considered for a Lok Sabha seat, there are speculations about former BJD leader Ramkrushna Patnaik – who has resigned from the Congress and is yet to join any other party- may be offered the Polsara seat. His wife and former BJD MP Kumudini Patnaik who has also resigned from the Congress is also being considered for Polsara or any other suitable constituency, sources said.
With regard to Bolangir assembly seat, Naveen Patnaik is in two minds for obvious reasons. Giving party ticket to AU Singhdeo’s younger son Arkesh Narayana Singhdeo could invite criticism for promoting family rule because while the former has been elevated to the Rajya Sabha his other son Kalikesh has been favoured with the ticket for the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat for the second time. At the same time, nominating Arkesh for the seat held by his father for years, could be a ‘winning’ decision.
Asked why veteran BJD leader Sugyani Kumari Deo’s name was missing from the first list, Naveen Patnaik said she had opted out on health grounds. However, there are reasons to believe that she was not at ease with the party on several issues.