Blue blood in Odisha assembly & Lk Sabha poll fray

Bhubaneswar, March 27: Scions of erstwhile princely states in Odisha have made their place in the state's politics and 14 of them are in the election fray for the simultaneous assembly and parliamentary polls to be held next month. Ruling BJD and BJP have fielded 11 and 3 candidates, respectively, from royal families in parliamentary and assembly seats.

Of the 11 royal family members in the poll fight on BJD tickets, three will try their luck in parliamentary seats and the rest eight in assembly seats. Scions of erstwhile princely states will fight in one parliamentary and two assembly seats on BJP tickets. Main opposition Congress has on the other hand denied party ticket to Dhenkanal royal family member and seven-time MP and former minister Kamakhya Prasad Singh Deo this time.

The royal family members who have been given BJD tickets are Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo (Bolangir parliamentary), Hemendra Singh (Kandhamal parliamentary) and Arka Keshari Deo (Kalahandi parliamentary). The others are A U Singhdeo (Bolangir assembly), Pushpendra Singhdeo (Dharmagarh assembly), Usha Devi (Chikiti assembly), V Sugnana Kumari Deo (Kabisurya Nagar assembly), Pravin Bhanjadeo (Morada assembly), Pratap K Deb (Aul assembly), Prakurti Devi Singhdeo (Patnagarh assembly) and Nandini Devi (Sanakhemundi assembly).

Ruling BJD and BJP have fielded 11 and 3 candidates, respectively

Party supremo Naveen Patnaik has, however, dropped sitting MLA Siddharth Sekhar Singh, a scion of Khandapada royal family. Compared to the allocation of tickets to the 11 royal family members, BJD has chosen only 16 women - 14 for assembly seats and two for parliamentary seats. For BJP those who will be in the reckoning this time are state party president and a four-time MLA K V Singhdeo.

A member of Patnagarh royal family, he has been fielded by the party in Patnagarh assembly seat, while his wife Sangeeta Singhdeo, an ex-MP will fight for Bolangir parliamentary seat. The party has also fielded Bamara royal family member Nithesh Gangdev from Deogarh assembly seat.


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