State

Actress Pinky Pradhan to take on BJD heavyweight Surjya Patro in Digapahandi assembly seat, BJP names candidates for 5 Lok Sabha constituencies, 22 Assembly seats in Odisha

Actor, Singer, Producer, Vice President BJP Mahila Morcha Odisha Pinky Pradhan will now be taking on the cabinet Minister Surjya Narayan Patro in the prestigious Digapahandi assembly seat. 

Ending speculations over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s candidature from Puri, the BJP has fielded its national spokesperson Sambit Patra from the Lok Sabha seat.

Senior leaders of the saffron party in Odisha, including MLA Pradip Purohit, had earlier hinted that Modi might contest the election from the temple town.

The ruling BJD and the opposition Congress are yet to announce the names of candidates from the constituency.

Releasing a fresh list of candidates on Friday for five parliamentary seats and 22 Assembly segments in Odisha, the BJP announced that its state unit president Basant Kumar Panda would contest the polls from Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency and national secretary Suresh Pujari from Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency.

Sitting MLA Nitesh Ganga Deb has been fielded from Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, while Jayaram Pangi is the BJP candidate for Koraput (ST) parliamentary seat. While Panda happens to represent Nuapada assembly segment, Ganga Dev is the legislator from Deogarh constituency in the outgoing Assembly.

The saffron party is yet to announce its candidate for Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency, where the ruling BJD has fielded its Rajya Sabha MP Achyut Samanta, and the Congress nominated Manoj Kumar Acharya.

Among the candidates for the 22 Assembly seats is Shisir Gamang, son of former Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang. He would contest the state polls from Gunpur assembly constituency.

Two sitting MLAs Debraj Mohanty and Purna Chandra Nayak — who had resigned from the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on March 20 following denial of tickets — has been nominated from Aska assembly segment in Ganjam district and Daspalla in Nayagarh district respectively.

The new BJP list also includes a woman candidate, Pinky Pradhan, who happens to be an actress. She will be contesting the election from Digapahandi Assembly seat.Earlier, the party had announced names of candidates for 10 Lok Sabha constituencies and 99 Assembly seats in Odisha.

The state, which has 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats, is scheduled to go to simultaneous voting in four phases: April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

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