Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik may contest from Bijepur Assembly constituency in Bargarh district, sources said. Today, Patnaik said that he was ‘seriously considering’ a proposal of leaders from western Odisha to contest from their region.
After his party’s thumping victory in the Bijepur byelection in February last year, Patnaik visited the area to express his gratitude to the voters where he had said that he will personally monitor the development of Bijepur. Since then many development projects were announced for western Odisha and particularly for Bijepur.
On February 28, BJD candidate Rita Sahu won the much-publicized byelection by more than 41,000 votes.
Today several heavyweight BJD leaders, including almost all the party MPs, MLAs and people from different walks of life from western Odisha met Patnaik at Naveen Niwas here and requested him to contest Assembly election from their region.
Patnaik also hinted at contesting from the western Odisha as he observed that he was considering the proposal seriously.
“Leaders, farmers, women and youths from western Odisha have come to meet me and requested me to contest from western Odisha. I am considering it seriously,” said the four-time Chief Minister after meeting with the people. The Chief Minister representing Hinjli Assembly constituency in Ganjam district consecutively since 2000.
Recently, two Congress heavyweights from western Odisha – Naba Das (Jharsuguda) and Jogesh Singh (Sundergarh) joined the BJD.
Western Odisha consisting of 11 districts accounts for a third of the seats in the 147-strong Assembly as well as a third of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the State. The districts include Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur and Sundargarh.
Senior leaders like Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya, Bijepur MLA Rita Sahu, Anup Sai, AU Singh Deo, noted poet Padma Shri Haldar Nag met Patnaik.