Berhampur, March 17 (Localwire): It seems age is not a factor when it comes to fighting elections, as several high-profile septuagenarians are still keen to try their luck one more time.
Most of them want to join the race for the assembly seats, although parties have indicated they would prefer more young leaders to join their ranks in the districts.
The septuagenarians include 10-time MLA from Kabisurya Nagara, V. Sugnan Kumari Deo (82), five-time MLA from Berhampur, Ramesh Chandra Chaupatnaik (75), and six-time MLA from Digapahandi, Surya Narayan Patro (71).
Similarly, 78-year old Chintamani Dyansamantra, a three-time MLA from Chikiti and ex-assembly speaker, is lobbying for a Congress ticket from Berhampur parliamentary seat.
Also, K. Shyambabu Subudhi, who has already lost 28 election battles, is still not ready to give up. He will fight it out again as independent candidate this time.
While parties are burning the midnight oil to pick candidates, the 84-year old has already hit the campaign trail as an independent candidate.
Although it’s speculated that Deo, scion of erstwhile Khallikote royal family, won’t contest this time due to ill-health, her supporters, though, said she will seek for re-election if she gets ticket.
“I am keen to fight again from Berhampur. I expressed my desire to BJD chief Naveen Patnaik,” said Chaupatnaik, who have been elected from there for five times. “I don’t think age is a factor if your health permits,” said Chaupatnaik, who is also a doctor.
Seventy two-year old Naveen Patnaik, who had been elected from Hinjili in last four elections, will seek re-election from there.
Dyansamantara said an experienced party leader would always put up a tough fight against his opponent, and age should not be taken into account.
Supporters of Ram Krushna Patnaik said the 79-year old leader will contest from Polasara if BJP gives him ticket. Patnaik, a former minister, was elected from Kodala for five times.
Like govt employees, a politician needs to retire from active politics to pave way for young generation, political observer and former political science professor Jayant Kumar Mohapatra said.