Discontent brews among BJP ticket hopefuls in Odisha, former MP and MLA announce independent runs

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 3: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha faces internal dissent as ticket aspirants express their grievances over being denied candidacy for the upcoming elections. Former MP Kharabela Swain and four-time MLA Debasis Nayak have declared their intentions to contest independently, citing dissatisfaction with the party’s decision.

Swain and Nayak, on Friday, announced their plans to file nominations as independents from the Balasore parliamentary constituency and Bari Assembly seat, respectively.

Earlier in the day, the BJP announced Santosh Khatua as its candidate from Nilagiri, dashing Swain’s hopes for a ticket from Balasore. Swain had proposed to the central leadership to relocate Balasore MP candidate Pratap Sarangi to Nilagiri and field himself from the parliamentary seat instead.

Asserting his loyalty to the BJP, Swain declared, “I am the real BJP, hence people will vote for him,” expressing confidence in his electoral prospects.

In response to inquiries about potential repercussions for contesting independently, Swain indicated his intention to rejoin the BJP after winning the polls.

Meanwhile, Debasis Nayak, who recently joined the BJP after leaving the BJD, took to social media to announce his decision to run independently, following the nomination of Umesh Chandra Jena from Bari by the BJP. Jena, who contested from Bari on a Congress ticket in 2019, has been selected as the BJP’s candidate for the upcoming elections.

Expressing his dedication to serving the people of Bari, Nayak emphasized that his allegiance lies with the electorate rather than a particular party, highlighting his four consecutive terms as MLA from 2000 to 2014 on the BJD ticket.

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