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Editors to make news

They have decided not just to cover the general election but to make news too by contesting it.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2004 12:57 IST

They have decided not just to cover the general election but to make news too by contesting it.

Orissa's election scenario features several journalists and editors, some of who are old hands in the political game and others who will contest for the first time -- when the state goes to the polls on April 20 and 26 to choose its 21 MPs and its new state government.

Journalists who are already in politics are former chief minister JB Patnaik, his son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Tathagat Satpathy, Ranjib Biswal, Kharavela Swain, Bhartwahari Mahatab, Gopa Narayan Das and Bisnu Sethi.

Most of them were either born into political families or married into one.

A powerful force in the state's political scenario, former chief minister and state Congress chief Patnaik edited the Oriya daily Prajatantra and a monthly magazine Pourusha from Cuttack city before he joined politics.

Patnaik is likely to contest from the Begunia assembly constituency in Khurda district this time.

His son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patnaik is a former MP who edits the Oriya daily Sambad and wants to contest for the Congress from the state capital Bhubaneswar.

Satpathy edits the daily Dharitri. Son of former chief minister Nandini Satpathy, he is aspiring to contest from Dhenkanal parliamentary constituency on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ticket.

Former MP Ranjib Biswal is son of the late Basant Biswal, a Congress leader, and is editor of the daily Samaya. He wants another stab at a Congress party ticket from the coastal Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituency.

Kharavela Swain, a member of the last Lok Sabha, was publisher of a leading weekly Bishes Khabar before he joined politics. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member has closed his paper and wants to re-contest from Balasore.

Bhartwahari Mahatab, also a member of the last Lok Sabha, was editor of the popular daily Prajatantra. He is seeking a BJD ticket to re-contest from Cuttack.

Gopanarayan Das is editor of Nutana Barta, a local daily. A former member of the state legislative assembly, he is seeking the Congress party ticket to re-contest from Balasore district.

Bishnu Sethi was a journalist with a local weekly before he joined politics six years ago. A member of the outgoing assembly, the BJP candidate wants to contest from the Chandbali assembly constituency in Bhadrak district.

There are also the first timers, tentatively entering the world of elections.

These include Bismaya Mohanty, editor of Ajikali from Balasore, Bijaya Routray, editor of Utkal Mail from Rourkela, Chitta Ranjan Mishra, editor of Mukta Mandap from Puri, and Sriram Das, freelance journalist.

Except Das, who is seeking a BJP ticket, all the others have applied for the Congress ticket to contest from where their respective newspapers have influence.

First Published: Mar 19, 2004 14:15 IST