Naveen Patnaik to contest two assembly seats | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Naveen Patnaik to contest two assembly seats

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 17, 2024 04:37 PM IST

BJD leaders said Patnaik’s move to contest from Kantabanji will positively impact the party’s prospects in the Bolangir, Kalahandi, and Sambalpur Lok Sabha seats

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced he will contest from Kantabanji in western Odisha apart from his pocket borough of Hinjili. He opted for a second seat—Bijepur in western Odisha—for the first time in his two-decade political career in 2019 amid rising acceptance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the region following its successes in the 2017 panchayat polls.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. (ANI)
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. (ANI)

Patnaik’s strategy helped the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to stem the BJP’s rise in the region. In 2019, Patnaik retained Hinjili, which he has represented since 2000, after winning both seats he contested.

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Western Odisha accounts for five Lok Sabha and 33 assembly seats. BJD strategists believe Patnaik’s move to contest again from the region will help keep the BJP’s growth in check. Most opinion polls have suggested that the BJP would increase its tally of Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Odisha is going for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections from May 13. Hijili and Kantabanji will go to the polls on May 20. A large number of migrant workers leave Kantabanji annually to work in brick kilns in Chhatisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

BJD leaders said Patnaik’s move to contest from Kantabanji will positively impact the party’s prospects in the Bolangir, Kalahandi, and Sambalpur Lok Sabha seats.

Patnaik on Wednesday separately announced the names of eight more candidates including six women for the assembly election. The BJP has so far named 126 assembly candidates. The BJD has given tickets to 28 women, the highest so far.

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