Congress releases 1st list of candidates in Odisha, renominates 5 MLAs | India News

BHUBANESWAR: The Congress on Tuesday announced candidates for eight Lok Sabha and 47 assembly seats in the state. The party has left Biramitrapur and Bonai assembly seats for JMM and CPM as part of their seat-sharing talks.
Congress state president Sarat Pattanayak, who had lost security deposit following his embarrassing defeat from the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat in 2019, will contest from Nuapada assembly constituency this time.
Pattanayak (68) was elected to the 10th and 11th Lok Sabha from Balangir on a Congress ticket in 1991 and 1996.
The Congress has nominated former captain of the Indian Hockey team Prabodh Tirkey from Talrasa assembly seat in Sundargarh district. Earlier, BJD nominated Hockey India president and former captain Dilip Tirkey as its candidate for Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat.
The Congress has renominated its outgoing MP Saptagiri Ulaka for Koraput, which was the only parliamentary seat the opposition party had won out of 21 in 2019. The party has changed its candidates at the other seven Lok Sabha seats — Bargarh (Sanjay Bhoi), Sundargarh (Janardan Dehury), Balangir (Ollywood actor Manoj Mishra), Kalahandi (Draupadi Majhi), Nabarangpur (Bhujabal Majhi), Kandhamal (Amir Chand Nayak) and Berhampur (Rashmi Ranjan Patnaik).
The list of assembly candidates has 12 nominees, including five sitting MLAs — Tara Prasad Bahinipati (Jeypore), Ramesh Chandra Jena (Sanakhemundi), C S Raazen Ekka (Rajgangpur), Dasarathi Gomango (Mohana) and Santosh Singh Saluja (Kantabanji) — who have been renominated. Candidates, who were defeated in Bargarh, Bhawanipatna, Bissam Cuttack, Rayagada, Koraput, Pottangi and Malkangiri, have remained unchanged in the seats this time.
The Congress that won Jatani and Barabati-Cuttack assembly constituencies in 2019 has not declared candidates in the first list for these segments. Balangir assembly seat, which was won by Congress veteran Narasingha Mishra in 2019, has this time gone to his son Samarendra, who had unsuccessfully contested from Balangir Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
Former bureaucrat-turned-politician Bijay Patnaik has bagged a ticket for Paralakhemundi assembly seat. The party failed to get a replacement in Khariar following sitting MLA Adhiraj Panigrahi’s exit from Congress recently.
Sticking to its dynasty politics, the party has nominated former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das and his son Sagar for Narla and Bhawanipatna assembly seats respectively. Bhakta and Sagar were defeated from Kalahandi Lok Sabha and Bhawanipatna assembly seats respectively in 2019.
While three-time former MLA Bhujabal Majhi has been nominated for Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat, his daughter Lipika Majhi, who is a dentist, has been made the party nominee for Dabugam assembly constituency, which was won by her father in 2000, 2009 and 2014.
The Congress has conceded Biramitrapur and Bonai assembly seats to JMM and CPM as part of the seat-sharing talks between the Congress and INDIA constituents in Odisha. In 2019, the Bonai seat was won by Laxman Munda of CPM.
The Congress had fielded candidates in 138 assembly and 18 Lok Sabha seats in 2019. The Congress had left the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat to CPM, Aska to CPI and Mayurbhanj to JMM. Five assembly seats were spared for CPM and three for CPI.

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