BJP decides to swap with BJD Begunia assembly seat
The BJP today decided to swap with the BJD the Begunia assembly constituency from where the PCC president J.B.Patnaik is seeking election.
BJP sources said the two coalition partners had decided to exchange two assembly seats between themselves.
While the BJD would set up a candidate at Begunia, the BJP would contest from Balikuda constituency in Jagatsinghpur district.
Though tomorrow is the last date for filing of nomination papers for the constituencies going to polls in the second phase, the BJP, which was allotted the Begunia seat, was yet to decide on its candidate.
Popular film star Prasanta Nanda had won the Begunia seat last time on a BJP ticket and became the minister for Higher Education in the Naveen Patnaik government. He was, however, dropped from the ministry by the chief minister in August 2001.
BJP sources said former MLA Jyotish Chandra Das was likely to be the party candidate at the Balikuda constituency where the BJD had already set up Pradipta Kumar Swain as its candidate. "We expect Swain to withdraw from the fray as the seat has been given to BJP", they said.
It is the first time that the alliance partners had swapped any seat since the 2000 assembly polls. Though party leaders had said few assembly seats might be swapped between the coalition partners, it had not materialised so far.