Friday, March 27, 2009

BJD expects more from Congress camp

Expressbuzz, March 27, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is waiting for the announcement of the Congress list for finalising candidates for some Lok Sabha and Assembly seats going to polls in the first phase on April 16.

Sources said the BJD expects that some senior leader of the Congress will join the regional outfit after the Congress list is out. BJD today did not announce its candidate for the Kalahandi and Sundargarh Lok Sabha seats. While the Sundargarh seat is likely to go to CPM, speculation is rife on its candidate from the Kalahandi seat.

The Congress is also yet to finalise its candidate from the Kalahandi seat. While Congress working president Bhakta Charan Das is interested to contest from the parliamentary seat, there are also other strong contenders including former minister Bhupinder Singh and former MP Rahas Behari Nayak.

The seat will witness a triangular contest after the snapping of ties between the BJD and BJP. Bikram Keshari Deo of the BJP who won from the seat for three consecutive terms is seeking re-election for the fourth time.

Former State Youth Congress president Rohit Pujari was awarded with the Sambalpur seat after he joined the BJD yesterday only hours after resigning from the Congress. The BJD is now in search of a suitable candidate who can challenge Deo.

The BJD has not announced candidates for the Bissam Katak (ST), Chhatrapur (SC), Aska, Sanakhemundi, Kantamal, Narla, Sambalpur, Talsara (ST), Brajrajnagar, Bonai and Bijepur Assembly seats. Out of these, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has announced candidates for the Narla, Sambalpur and Talsara seats.

However, the BJD has objected to the unilateral announcement of the list by the NCP as it does agree with some of the constituencies and candidates.

The BJD was scheduled to announce the list of candidates jointly with the CPI and CPM.

However, seat-sharing talks though going on well are yet to be over indicating that there are some differences on a number seats. While the delay over announcement of candidate for the Bissam Katak (ST) seat is yet to be clear, the Chhatrapur (SC), Aska, Sanakhemundi and Brajrajnagar seats may go to the CPI. The CPM may get the Kantamal, Bonai and Bijepur seats.

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