Bhubaneswar: There was a long queue of aspirants at Naveen Niwas on Thursday, as the BJD leadership is likely to announce the first-phase list of candidates for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections anytime soon.
Party sources said hectic parleys are on at Naveen Niwas for allotment of tickets to candidates having greater chances of winning. The party leadership said it will announce name of candidates for the four Lok Sabha seats and 28 Assembly seats in Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput districts where the first phase of polls is scheduled on April 11.
Some well-known leaders from Ganjam district, like former minister and sitting Gopalpur MLA Pradip Panigrahi, and Bikram Panda (former Congress leader who recently joined the BJD), sitting Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chaupatnaik and former Berhampur MP Chandrasekhar Sahu (a former Congress leader who has joined the BJD), were seen camping at Naveen Niwas.
Sambit Routray, son of former BJD leader Damodar Rout, was also inside Naveen Niwas. Asked about his willingness to contest Assembly polls on a BJD ticket, he said he has been aspiring for Paradip constituency since long.
Asked if his father would return to the BJD if an offer was made to him, Sambit said the chances were remote. “My father has never compromised in life,” he said.
As notified by the Election Commission of India, filing of nominations for the first phase polls in Odisha will begin on March 18.