Hours after fielding Prithvi Ballabh Patnaik, son of three-time chief minister JB Patnaik, from Begunia Assembly seat, Congress on Wednesday changed his candidature as he was unwilling to contest the election.
Mr Patnaik's name figured in the list of candidates for nine Assembly seats in Odisha released by the Central Election Committee (CEC) of AICC late on Tuesday night.
However, Mr Prithvi changed his mind and expressed unwillingness to contest from Begunia, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said. Therefore, it became necessary to nominate another candidate, he said.
While announcing Pradeep Sahoo as it candidate from Begunia in place of Mr Patnaik, the party also declared nominees for eight other assembly seats in a fresh list.
Announcing candidates for three Lok Sabha seats in two separate lists, Congress has fielded former Odisha minister Panchanan Kanungo from the Cuttack and former Balangir MP Sarat Patnaik from Sambalpur parliamentary constituency.
Mr Kanungo, ex-finance Minister, is set to take on BJP candidate Prakash Mishra, a retired IPS officer and BJD's five-time MP Bhartruhari Mahtab in Cuttack.
Sarat Patnaik, who was elected twice to Lok Sabha from Balangir in 1991 and 1996, had also held the post of OPCC president from 2000 to 2004.
Congress has nominated Manas Jena from Jajpur (SC) Lok Sabha seat where the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has fielded Sarmistha Sethi.
The party had also announced candidates for nine assembly seats late on Tuesday night, eight more nominees were declared on Wednesday.
Congress has re-nominated four candidates who had been fielded by it in 2014 election. While Santosh Kumar Nanda will contest from Jajpur assembly seat, Bhabani Shankar Mohapatra is fielded from Kamakhyanagar and Arindam Sarkhel in Paradip.
Though the party retained Yudhistir Samantray as its candidate from Pipili, he expressed disappointment over the manner in which his candidature was announced and told reporters that he will not contest.
Mr Samantray, who was MLA from Pipili from 1995 to 2000 alleged irregularities in selection of party candidates.
The party has made Manas Das Patnaik its nominee from Balasore Assembly seat, while Smruti Rekha Pahi from Dharmasala, Trinath Behera will contest from Hindol and Bobby Mohanty from Baramba.
While the OPCC president has already filed his nomination from Ghasipura assembly seat, his name figured in the new list.
The other candidates for assembly seats are Ashwani Pujari (Sambalpur), Jagdish Mohanty (Cuttack-Choudwar), Abhishek Mahananda (Cuttack Sadar-SC), Sukanta Tiadi Bhoi (Jayadev-SC), Rajib Patnaik (Bhubaneswar Central), Itish Pradhan (Bhubaneswar North) and Pradeep Swain (Chilika).
With this, Congress has so far announced candidates for 18 of the 21 Lok Sabha and 131 of the 147 Assembly seats in the state.
Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Odisha simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
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