Sons rise in Odisha elections again

An interesting feature of the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha was the maiden appearance of sons and daughters of well-known politicians, cutting across the party lines. And the trend is all set to be repeated this time too.

As per the available data, a record number of more than 20 children (mostly sons) of political heavyweights will be making their electoral debut in the state from different seats including some key constituencies.

State Congress chief Jayadev Jena’s son, Sangram Jena will fight his first electoral battle in the key north Odisha Lok Sabha constituency of Bhadrak against sitting BJD MP and former Union minister Arjun Sethi.

Similarly, another debutant Loknath Rath will be the Congress nominee in southern Odisha Aska Lok Sabha constituency. 

Loknath, a Supreme Court lawyer, is the son of Ramchandra Rath, a former MP from the constituency who was a powerful Congress politician in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A former president of All India Youth Congress, the senior Rath was also a close aide of Sanjay Gandhi.

Former state minister and senior Congress leader, late Ram Ulaka’s son Siba Shankar Ulaka will battle it out in politically significant Koraput Lok Sabha constituency against Congress heavyweight and former chief minister Giridhar Gamang.

 The junior Ulaka had resigned from the Congress a few days back and is taking on Gamang on a BJP ticket.

Two time BJP MP from Kalahandi, the late B K Deo’s son, Arka Keshari Deo has stepped into the battlefield for the first time from the same constituency to take on sitting Congress MP and former Union minister Bhakta Charna Das. Arka, however, will not be contesting the polls from his father’s party but as a nominee of the ruling BJD.

Senior Congress leader and former Assembly Speaker Chintamani Dyansamantaray’s son Manoranjan Dyansamantaray will be contesting from Chikiti Assembly constituency on a Congress ticket to take on his father’s old rival, senior BJD leader and the state woman and child development minister Usha Devi.

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