Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Announces 6 New Candidates Amid Speculation Over BJD's Future Leadership

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announces new BJD candidates for 2024 polls, drops 5 MLAs, as party faces BJP challenge in Western Odisha. Patnaik's health and leadership also under scrutiny.

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Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Announces 6 New Candidates Amid Speculation Over BJD's Future Leadership

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Announces 6 New Candidates Amid Speculation Over BJD's Future Leadership

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President Naveen Patnaik has announced six new candidates for the upcoming state assembly elections in the party's seventh list. The decision comes amid growing speculation about the BJD's future leadership after the 2024 election and concerns over Patnaik's health.

The new candidates include Mahesh Sahoo for Hindol, Archana Rekha Behera for Raghunathpalli, Sharada Prasanna Jena for Balikuda-Ersama, Tusharkanti Behera for Kakatpur, Ranjita Marandi for Bangiriposhi, and Biswaranjan Mallick for Bari. The party has dropped five sitting MLAs and given tickets to the wives of two MLAs.

Patnaik's decision to field new faces and deny tickets to some sitting MLAs has sparked debates within political circles about the BJD's approach for the upcoming elections. The move is seen as an effort to counter the growing influence of the BJP in Western Odisha, where the party emerged victorious in 8 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections and is now targeting to increase its tally to 12 seats in 2024.

Why this matters: The BJD's candidate selection and Patnaik's leadership will have significant implications for the political landscape of Odisha in the 2024 elections. The party's ability to maintain its dominance and fend off challenges from the BJP and Congress will be closely watched.

Meanwhile, Patnaik has been focusing on transforming the Jagannath Temple area in Puri with an ₹800 crore corridor project. The Chief Minister's health has also been a topic of speculation, with concerns being raised about his ability to lead the party in the future.

The BJD has so far declared candidates for 141 out of the 147 assembly constituencies in Odisha. The voting for the state assembly will be held in four phases from May 13 to June 1, with the results to be announced on June 4. "The party has re-nominated Tusharkanti Behera from the Kakatpur assembly segment and fielded sitting Dhenkanal MP Mahesh Sahoo from the Hindol assembly seat," a BJD spokesperson said.

Key Takeaways

  • Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announces 6 new BJD candidates for 2024 assembly polls.
  • BJD drops 5 sitting MLAs, fields wives of 2 MLAs in the 7th candidate list.
  • Move seen as effort to counter BJP's growing influence in Western Odisha.
  • BJD has so far declared candidates for 141 out of 147 assembly constituencies.
  • Patnaik's health and BJD's future leadership after 2024 polls are concerns.