The BJP on Monday announced the names of candidates for two Lok Sabha seats and nine Assembly constituencies in Odisha, which is set to go for simultaneous polling in four phases between April 11 and 29.
Former Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra, who joined the BJP Sunday, has been fielded from Cuttack Lok Sabha seat, while ex-MP Kharavela Swain, who was inducted into the party Monday morning, has been given a ticket from Kandhamal parliamentary constituency, currently a part of the country’s Maoist belt.
Swain, a three-time BJP leader from Balasore Lok Sabha seat, had resigned from the BJP in 2009 and formed his own political outfit Utkal Bharat, following differences with senior leaders of the party.
According to sources in the BJP, Swain was keen on contesting the general election from Balasore seat, but the party has already fielded Pratap Sarangi from the coastal constituency.
“It is a homecoming for me. I will contest from the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat,” Swain who joined the BJP, along with his supporters, said.
Retired IPS officer Prakash Mishra had served as the Director General of Police of Odisha from 2012 to 2014. He was also the Director General of CRPF for around two years between 2014 and 2016.
A source in the BJP said Mishra always maintained a “good relationship” with senior leaders in Delhi. Among the nine candidates who would contest the assembly election on BJP tickets are Dinesh Jain (Jharsuguda), Debendra Mohapatra (Rairakhol), Badri Narayan Dhal (Bhandaripokhari), Dr Pradip Naik (Bhadrak), Deba Narayan Pradhan (Phulbani) and Sampad Swain (Paradip).
With Monday’s announcement, the BJP has named candidates for 17 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats and 130 out of 147 Assembly constituencies in the state.
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