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BJD’s third list of candidates today

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 18:

The much awaited list of BJD candidates for the rest of the seats for the first phase of parliamentary and assembly polls is likely to be announced today, party sources said.

Naveen Patnaik
Naveen Patnaik

The sources said the delay in announcing the list was due to some issues with regard to selection of candidates in certain seats including the Kandhamal Lok Sabha as well as Laxmipur, Kabisuryanagar and Polsara assembly seats.

However, with the party chief Naveen Patnaik getting a full day on Holi to reflect on the issues involved, the final list should be announced anytime today, the sources said.

While in Kabisuryanagar the ticket was offered to Latika Pradhan, a large section of the local BJD workers and leaders are insisting on re-issuing the ticket to the sitting MLA Sugyan Kumari Deo who had withdrawn from the poll race this time on ‘health grounds’.

In Polsara, the party is considering giving the ticket to either former minister Ramkrushns Patnaik or his wife and former MP Kumudini Patnail, sources said.

There is considerable confusion over the Laxmipur assembly seat after Hema Gamang was inducted into the party on Sunday. The local BJD workers and leaders, reports said, are unwilling to accept her. Jhina Hikaka, who holds that seat now, is being considered for the Koraput Lok Sabha seat but there too he faces local opposition. If Hikaka is finally not given the ticket for Koraput, he would most likely want to retain Laxmipur.

There are also reports that Hema Gamang may not be favoured with the party ticket for any seat this time. However, this has not been verified.