Bhubaneswar: First list of BJD candidates released today for Lok Sabha and assembly polls includes name of three royal family members, a cinestar and a hockey player while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would contest from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district in Odisha.
Announcing the first list of candidates for five Lok Sabha and 30 assembly constituencies, BJD president Patnaik said the rest of nominees for the first phase of twin polls scheduled on April 10 in the state would be declared soon.
While international hockey player and Rajya Sabha MP Dilip Tirkey has been named as BJD's candidate from Sundergarh Parliamentary Constituency, the party renominated Bolangir MP Kalikesh Singh and fielded Arka Keshari Deo, son of former BJP MP and royal family member, in Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat.
Kalikesh hails from the Bolangir royal family.
Odia film star and sitting Barhampur MP Siddhant Mohapatra has been renominated from the seat while Ladu Kishore Swain has been fielded for Aska Lok Sabha seat replacing sitting MP Nityananda Pradhan.
For the assembly, the party retained five ministers - Revenue minister S N Patro in Digapahandi, Women and Child Development minister Usha Devi (royal family member) in Chikiti, Tribal Development minister Lal Behari Himirika in Rayagada, Industries minister Niranjan Pujari in Sonepur and Transport minister Subrat Tarai in Raghunathpalli seat.
Patnaik said Mangala Kissan, whose tenure ends in Rajya Sabha, will contest from Rajgangpur and former minister Padmanabh Behera was renominated from Biramaharajpur seat.
Rourkela MLA Sarada Nayak, who was dropped from the ministry in 2012 after an failed coup bid, has also been renominated.
Similarly, Pushpendra Singhdeo, who was also dropped from the ministry, was renominated from Dharmagarh assembly seat in Kalahandi district.
Patnaik gave ticket to Geeta Sahu from Titlagarh assembly seat. Geeta is the wife of BJD youth wing leader Abhimanyu Sahu, who was killed by gunmen last year.
BJD's first list of 30 candidates for the April 10 elections included only five women while there has been no member from the fairer sex in the list of five candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
There are 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats in Odisha. While election would be held for 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly constituencies on April 10, the rest would go to polls on April 17.
Stating that the party had received more than 50,000 applications from aspirants for the twin polls, Patnaik said the candidates were selected after discussions with senior party leaders and workers.
The BJD chief expressed the hope that those who failed to get tickets this time would continue to support the party to serve the people of Odisha and create a self-reliant and prosperous Odisha.