The Congress announced candidates for six Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in its second list.
The second list of 71 Lok Sabha candidates was announced after a meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) in New Delhi on Thursday.
The list did not announce candidate for Balasore seat, from where Union Minister of State Srikant Jena, who is also the chairman of the campaign committee for Odisha, is the sitting MP, giving rise to speculation that he may not contest election this time. Jena is reported to have informed the high command that it will be better if he does not contest as he will be engaged in campaigning for party candidates in the entire State.
Besides, the party also held back announcing the candidate from Bargarh seat. Sanjay Bhoi is sitting MP from Bargarh seat. Bhoi’s candidature is being opposed by senior leaders and MLAs from Jharsuguda and Bargarh districts.
The four sitting MPs who have been renominated include Hemananda Biswal from Sundargarh, Amarnath Pradhan from Sambalpur, Pradip Majhi from Nabarangpur and Bhakta Charan Das from Kalahandi seats.
The party has also named former minister Harihar Karan as its candidate from Kandhamal seat, while Shyam Charan Hansda has been named as the candidate from Mayurbhanj seat.
In the first phase, the Congress had announced the names of candidates for nine Lok Sabha seats.