Two royal family members, 2 Dalits among 18 BJP nominees for Odisha


PTI, Mar 25, 2024, 8:22 PM IST

The 18 Lok Sabha poll candidates announced by the BJP for Odisha include two members from erstwhile royal families, five from tribal communities and two Dalits. Four women also featured in that list of nominees.

Of the total 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the BJP released names of candidates for 18. Contestants for Cuttack, Jajpur and Kandhamal constituencies will be declared later.

The party retained Bolangir MP Sangeeta Kumar Singh Deo, who belongs to the Patnagarh royal family. She is the wife of KV Singh Deo, the titular Maharaja of Patnagarh. KV Singh Deo is also a BJP leader and a former minister in Odisha.

Sangeeta Kumar Singh Deo was elected from the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2019. She had lost to her brother-in-law Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo in the same seat in 2009 and 2014. In 2019, however, she defeated Kalikesh by a margin of 19,516 votes.

The BJP also fielded Malavika Keshari Deo, wife of former MP Arka Keshari Deo, a member of the royal family of Kalahandi district. Arka Keshari Deo was elected to Lok Sabha from the Kalahandi seat in 2014 as a BJD candidate after the death of his father Bikram Keshari Deo, who won the seat thrice.

Arka Keshari Deo and his wife quit the BJD after being denied party ticket in 2019. They joined the BJP in 2023.

Four women are also there in the BJP’s list. Apart from Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo and Malavika Keshari Deo, two other women were Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi and Aska candidate Anita Subhadarshini who lost to a BJD candidate in 2019.

The two Dalit (SC) candidates are former MP Bibhuprasad Tarai (Jagatsinghpur) and Abhimanyu Sethi (Bhadrak).

The BJP’s candidate list also includes five tribals who will be contesting from reserve seats. They are MP Jual Oram (Sundergarh), former MP Ananta Nayak (Keonjhar), Rairungpur MLA Naba Charan Majhi (Mayurbhanj), former MP Balabhadra Majhi (Nabarangpur) and Kaleram Majhi (Koraput).

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