Faced with resentment, the BJP on Friday announced change of candidates for five assembly seats in Odisha announced by it earlier. The assembly seats where candidates were changed as per the recommendation of the party’s central committee were Daspalla in Nayagarh district, Narla in Kalahandi district, Khariar in Nuapara district and Deogarh and Khallikote in Ganjam district.
According to party sources, Subash Panigrahi in Deogarh assembly seat was replaced by Nitesh Gangdev, a member of Deogarh royal family. Gangdeb had recently joined the BJP after quitting Congress.
The party replaced Dhirendra Tahal with Sarat Chandra Behera in Khallikote assembly seat, Hitesh Bagarti with Duryodhan Majhi in Khariar, Manoj Behera with Pramod Behera in Daspalla and Anirudha Pradhan with Artatrana Mahapatra in Narla. Hitesh Bagarti, the sitting MLA from Khariar had earlier refused to contest elections on health grounds after his name was announced by the party.
Duryodhan Majhi, a former minister, had recently joined the BJP after being denied a ticket to contest elections by the BJD.
While BJP changed its candidates in five assembly seats, the ruling BJD also adopted a similar exercise in two seats after announcement of candidate lists.he ruling party replaced Latika Pradhan by nine-time MLA V Sugnana Kumari Devi in Kabisurya Nagar in Ganjam district and Harekrushna Sarangi by Rajya Sabha MP and sitting MLA A U Singhdeo in the Bolangir assembly seat.