Former MLA Anubhav Patnaik takes independent route after BJD denies ticket

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 3: Anubhav Patnaik, former MLA, submitted his nomination as an independent candidate for the Khandapada assembly seat at the Nayagarh sub-collector office in Odisha on Friday. This move followed his resignation from the BJD, a day after the party opted to field Sabitri Pradhan, the chairperson of Bhapur block, instead of him.

Patnaik’s rebellion, emerging almost eight months after the party expelled sitting MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik in the midst of an alleged loan fraud case, poses a significant challenge for the BJD in Khandapada.

Having won the Khandapada seat in 2014 under the BJD banner, Patnaik stepped aside for Soumya five years later. Despite his disappointment, he remained with the party. However, speaking to reporters on Thursday, Patnaik expressed his frustration, stating that despite his efforts to ensure a significant victory margin for the MLA candidate in 2019, he was denied a ticket. He further claimed that he continued to serve the people of Khandapada while the MLA remained absent post-election. Patnaik asserted his expectation for a ticket this time, given his contributions to strengthening the party’s organization in the region.

Additionally, Patnaik alleged that Benudhar, the spouse of the nominated MLA candidate, was involved in the illegal trade of marijuana and was accused in the murder of former Bhapur block chairman Gurubari Kanhar. He criticized the party for selecting a candidate who he claimed had made no significant contributions to the party or grassroots organization.

Consequently, Patnaik declared that his fight would now be for the development of Khandapada rather than for a particular party.

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