BJD names 63 Lok Sabha, Assembly candidates

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday declared the first list of nine Lok Sabha and 54 Assembly candidates.

Former Union Minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu, who had crossed over to the BJD from Congress, will contest from Berhampur parliamentary constituency while former state Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo will be the BJD candidate from Kalahandi.

Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo will contest again from Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency while Rajya Sabha MPs Prasanna Acharya and Achyut Samanta will be fielded from Bargarh and Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.

State SC and ST Development Minister Ramesh Majhi will contest from Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat while Sunita Biswal, daughter of former Chief Minister Hemananda Biswal, got a ticket for Sundargarh parliamentary constituency.

Kousalya Hikaka, wife of outgoing Koraput MP Jhina Hikaka, will contest from that constituency. Pramila Bisoi will contest from Aska Lok Sabha seat.

Naveen Patnaik, a four-time Chief Minister, will contest from two Assembly constituencies: Bijepur in Bargarh district and Hinjili in Ganjam district.

Patnaik will contest from a second Assembly constituency — Bijepur in western Odisha — for the first time in his career of 19 years.

The Chief Minister has been elected four times from Hinjili.

Ministers of the Patnaik cabinet who got tickets are Usha Devi (Chikiti), Surya Narayan Patro (Digapahandi), Bikram Keshari Arukh (Bhanjanagar), Niranjan Pujari (Sonepur), Snehangini Churia (Atabira) and Susanta Singh (Bhatli).

Odisha has 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies, which will face simultaneous polls in four phases from April 11.