New faces in BJD first list for Lok Sabha, Assembly polls
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The BJD on Thursday released its candidates' list for the first phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Orissa, placing its bets on fresh faces. Not a single sitting MP figured in the list for eight LS seats announced by CM Naveen Patnaik. The list for 59 Assembly seats had only 23 sitting MLAs — six ministers, 15 MLAs, the CM and the Speaker.
In the first phase scheduled on April 16, 10 LS and 70 Assembly constituencies will go to the polls. The BJD has sitting MPs in four of these seats — Kandhamal, Koraput, Sambalpur and Aska. The other LS constituencies are Bolangir, Bargarh, Nabrangpur and Berhampur. The BJD left Kalahandi and Sundargarh LS seats and 11 Assembly seats for allies NCP and Left. MLA Kalikesh Singhdeo, son of minister A U Singhdeo, will contest from Bolangir LS seat while Oriya cinestar Siddhanta Mohapatra will contest from Berhampur. Rohit Pujari, who quit as Orissa Youth Congress chief to join the BJD, will contest from Sambalpur. Like past two terms, Naveen will contest from the Hinjili Assembly seat while A U Singhdeo will contest from Bolangir.