BJD to go it alone in elections: Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, here on Tuesday, his party will not forge an alliance with any party and will go it alone in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

“We will fight on our own,” Patnaik told reporters. On the selection of candidates,
he said winnability will be the only yardstick.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, meanwhile, have started finalising their candidates’ lists for simultaneous polls in the state.

BJP’s state in-charge Arun Singh said the list of candidates will be out within a week. On the speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest Lok Sabha election from the pilgrimage town of Puri, Singh said, “the party’s parliamentary board will take a decision in this regard.”

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) is likely to announce names of candidates for the first phase of the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections by March 18. “The Congress is yet to finalise names of candidates. The list may be released on March 17 or 18,” said Congress leader Chiranjib Biswal.

Another Congress leader Pradeep Majhi said names of candidates will be announced after the AICC screening committee meeting on March 16.

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar on Tuesday organised an all-party meeting to sensitise political parties about new guidelines to be followed during the polls.

Odisha will undergo the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections simultaneously in four phases, starting April 11. The state has 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies.