BJD fields 7 women candidates for Odisha’s 21 Lok Sabha seats, reaches 33% mark | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJD fields 7 women candidates for Odisha’s 21 Lok Sabha seats, reaches 33% mark

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 11, 2024 09:40 PM IST

BJD fulfills 33% women candidates promise for Odisha's Lok Sabha seats. Lekhashree Samantsinghar announced for Balasore. 7th woman candidate named.

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday kept its promise to ensure that 33% of its candidates from Odisha’s 21 Lok Sabha seats will be women with chief minister Naveen Patnaik announcing Lekhashree Samantsinghar as the party’s candidate for the Balasore parliamentary constituency.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik (Odisha CM office)
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik (Odisha CM office)

Samantsinghar, a former vice president of the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who joined the BJD two days ago, was the seventh woman candidate named for the Lok Sabha elections.

The BJD had earlier named women as its candidates from Bargarh, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Koraput and Aska.

In 2019, the BJD won five of the seven Lok Sabha seats where it has put up women candidates. Overall, the BJD won 12 of the 21 seats while the BJP won eight seats and the Congress, one seat.

Turncoats from the BJP or the Congress account for five of the 21 BJD candidates. While Parineeta Mishra (Bargarh), Lekhashree Samantsinghar (Balasore) and Bhrugu Baxipatra (Berhampur) were previously in the BJP, Anshuman Mohanty(Kendrapara) and Surendra Singh Bhoi(Bolangir) were from Congress.

The BJD has already announced 117 candidates for the assembly elections which will be conducted along with the national elections and is yet to name candidates for 30 more assembly seats.

Only 19 of the 117 BJD candidates for the assembly elections so far are women. In the 2019 assembly elections also, the BJD gave party tickets to 21 women out of a total of 147 seats.

Only eight of the 112 candidates named by the BJD’s rival, the BJP, are women.

At least eight of the 19 candidates named by the BJD are wives and daughters of BJD leaders. In Bhawanipatna assembly segment, the BJD gave the ticket to Latika Naik, wife of Dusmanta Naik, who contested on BJD ticket in 2019. Similarly, in Paradip, it gave the ticket to Gitanjali Routray, wife of sitting BJD MLA Sambit Routray. In Morada seat, Pritinanda Kanungo, wife of sitting MLA Rajkishore Das, got the ticket while in Surada assembly constituency of Ganjam, Sanghamitra Swain, wife of sitting MLA Purnachandra Swain, was given the ticket.

Manjula Swain, who has been given a ticket from Aska assembly seat for the second time, is the widow of former BJD MP Ladu Kishore Swain. Rita Sahu, the candidate from Bijepur assembly seat, is the widow of former Congress MLA Subal Sahu while Tukuni Sahu, party candidate from Titlagarh seat, is the widow of slain BJD leader Abhimanyu Sahu. Alaka Mohanty from Brajarajnagar assembly seat is widow of former Speaker Kishore Mohanty while Dipali Das, BJD candidate from Jharsuguda, is the daughter of former BJD leader Naba Das, who was shot dead by a policeman in January last year.

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