Efforts are on for the next list in BJD, Surendra Singh joins the party

Bhubaneswar: Intensive talks continued in the BJD camp at Naveen Niwas on Friday to finalize the selection of candidates for the remaining six Lok Sabha and 75 assembly seats.

Sources said the announcement of candidates is likely to be postponed as there is no clarity yet on the remaining six Lok Sabha seats. Apart from this, the party will also wait until BJP announces its first list of candidates for the assembly seats. However, the Chief Minister called a meeting of senior leaders to discuss possible candidates for Lok Sabha seats.

Meanwhile, former minister Surendra Singh Bhoi, who quit the Congress on Thursday, joined the BJD on the same day, escalating speculation that he may be fielded from the Balangir Lok Sabha seat. The Congress leader had won the Titilagarh assembly seat in 2004 and lost to Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu in the 2014 and 2019 elections. Since Sahu has already been declared the party candidate from Titilagarh assembly seat this time, there is speculation that Bhoi may be fielded from Balangir Lok Sabha seat.

Bhoi told media persons that he had joined BJD inspired by the people-oriented policies of the state government, transparent governance and clean image of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He said he was ready to do any work assigned by the party leadership to realize the Chief Minister’s dream of a new Odisha.

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