Berhampur, March 9 (Localwire): Many hopefuls have started lobbying for a ticket, with BJD planning to launch a new face from the Aska parliamentary constituency in Ganjam district.
The party is looking to field a new candidate in Aska, a BJD stronghold, after it felt vacant following the death of sitting MP Ladu Kishore Swain last month.
While ex-CM Biju Patnaik had won the seat in 1996, Chief Minister Naveen Patniak had won twice in 1998 and1999 from Aska, considered an agrarian constituency.
Several names of candidates, though, are doing the rounds this time. Ex-Union minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu, ex-Rajya Sabha MP Renubala Pradhan, Berhampur MP Sidhant Mohapatra and Ganjam zilla parishad member Snehalata Panda, among others, could be likely candidates.
Sahu, who joined BJD last year, had lost the Aska polls in 1998 in a Congress ticket. Renubala, also the party’s women-wing vice president, was elected to Rajya Sabha from BJD in 2008.
Many women aspirants were also eager to get party tickets this time, after the chief minister recently announced to back 33% reservation for women in parliamentary and assembly seats.
There’re also rumors that Mohapatra may be fielded from Aska, if Sahu is nominated from Berhampur. “It’s only speculations. Final call will only take by the party chief,” said Sahu.
Congress, though, has decided not to field its own candidate from Aska, and would leave the seat to CPI with which it has made a seat-sharing agreement.
CPI has already picked up its national council member Rama Krushna Panda, a novice in electoral politics, for the seat. CPI had won the Aska seat in 1967.
BJP, on the other hand, is likely to re-nominate Mahesh Chandra Mohanty from the seat. Several aspirants are hoping to get a saffron party ticket.