BJD drops 5 MLAs in latest list, gives ticket to actor, mining transporter - Hindustan Times
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BJD drops 5 MLAs in latest list, gives ticket to actor, mining transporter

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 20, 2024 09:05 PM IST

The BJD has given tickets to actor Varsha Priyadarshini and mining transporter-turned-politician Sanatan Mahakud in the party’s latest list of candidates for the Odisha assembly polls

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday announced candidates for nine assembly constituencies in Odisha including actor Varsha Priyadarshini, whose marriage with former party MP Anubhav Mohanty ended in legal separation last year, and mining transporter-turned-politician Sanatan Mahakud. In the latest list, the ruling party has denied tickets to five sitting MLAs.

The BJD has announced candidates for 135 of the 147 assembly constituencies. (File)
The BJD has announced candidates for 135 of the 147 assembly constituencies. (File)

Priyadarshini had joined the BJD a couple of days ago after her marital discord and legal separation from Anubhav Mohanty last year. The Odia film actor got the BJD ticket as the party chose to ignore veteran MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy and a few other contenders. Mohanty joined the BJP last month and is expected to get an assembly ticket from the saffron party.

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In Champua of Keonjhar district, which is known as Bellary of Odisha due to iron ore mines, the BJD gave ticket to influential mines transporter Sanatan Mahakud, who represented the constituency in 2014 as an independent MLA. Mahakud, who made his wealth during the iron ore boom of early 2000, did not contest 2019 assembly polls due to his ill health but he helped the ruling BJD win both Champua Assembly and Keonjhar Lok Sabha seats. As per his recommendation, the BJD fielded Minakshi Mahanta in Champua Assembly constituency and Chandrani Murmu, a first-timer, in Keonjhar Lok Sabha seat. Both emerged as winners with the blessings of Sanatan. .

The BJD also gave party ticket to Ganeswar Behera in Kendrapara assembly constituency, weeks after he quit the Congress.

Of the 147 assembly constituencies, the BJD has announced candidates for 135, in which 32 are women, constituting 26 per cent of the total numbers, its highest number so far. Of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, the party has given tickets to one third of women, like it did in 2019 elections.

Odisha goes to polls in four phases beginning from May 13 in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Kalahandi, Koraput, Berhampur and Nabarangpur as well as 28 assembly constituencies under it. The last phase of polling would be held on June 1.

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