Families Dominate Odisha Elections

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Dynastic politics has come to the fore in the state in these elections with major political parties giving tickets to members of prominent political families, in some cases to more than one member.

In Bolangir royal siblings, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo and Arkesh Singh Deo have been fielded by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) from Bolangir Lok Sabha and assembly seats respectively. They happen to be the sons of former minister and Rajya Sabha member, AU Singh Deo.

They will be facing Congress’s father-son duo of Narasingha Mishra and Samarendra Mishra. While Samarendra, who is making his electoral debut, would be locking horns with two time Bolangir MP, Kalikesh , Narasingha, an old war horse, will be taking on rookie, Arkesh on the Bolangir assembly seat. Narasinhgha, a former law minister, had earlier declared that he would not contest the polls but later changed his mind apparently under the pressure of supporters.

State BJP legislature party leader, K V Singhdeo and his wife, Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, who also hail from the Bolangir royal family, are in the electoral fray on the BJP ticket. The husband-wife duo has featured in several elections in the past and has a strong hold over the politics of Bolangir.

While state Congress president, Niranjan Patnaik’s son Navajyoti has been nominated by the party to contest the Balasore Lok Sabha seat two prominent Congress leaders are in the fray with their sons this time. The party has fielded former union minister Bhakta Charan Das from the Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency while his son Sagar Charan Das is making his debut from the Bhawanipatna assembly seat. Similarly, George Tirkey is contesting the Sundergarh (ST) Lok Sabha seat on the hand symbol and his son, Rohit Joseph is the Congress candidate from Birmitrapur (ST) assembly seat currently held by his father.

In Sundergarh district, veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Hemanand Biswal’s two daughters are in the fray as the nominees of opposite parties. While Sunita Biswal is a BJD candidate for the Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat her younger sister Amita has been fielded by the Congress from the Sunderg arh assembly constituency.

In the ruling BJD chief minister, Naveen Patnaik has offered tickets to the sons of at least three party leaders who are not contesting the polls because of different reasons. He has decided to field the sons of chit fund scam-tainted MLAs, Pravat Ranjan Tripathy and Pravat Ranjan Biswal from Banki and Chowdwar-Cuttack seats respectively.  Similarly, Baudevpur MLA and Minister Bijayashree Routray’s son would be contesting from the seat in his place.

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