Close relatives of seven ex-CMs are in Odisha poll race

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI file photo

Close relatives of as many as seven former Odisha chief ministers are trying their luck in the ongoing four phased Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state. These relatives include sons, daughters, grandsons, one son-in-law and one grand daughter-in-law.

The exclusive list is being topped by ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) president and four-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is seeking a record fifth consecutive term in Office. Patnaik is the son of late Biju Patnaik who had occupied the chief minister’s chair twice but not consecutively.

BJD’s leader in the Lok Sabha, Bhatruhari Mahtab who is contesting from the prestigious Cuttack Parliament constituency is the son of state’s first chief minister, the late Harekrishna Mahtab. Bhatruhari has been representing Cuttack Lok Sabha seat since 1998.

Former chief minister, the late Nilamani Routray’s grandson, Bishnubrata Routray, is trying his luck on a BJD ticket from Basudevpur assembly constituency in north Odisha's Bhadrak district.

Former Congress chief minister Giridhar Gomang’s son Sisir Gomang is in the fray from Gunpur assembly constituency in tribal-dominated Koraput district on a BJP ticket while another Congress chief minister J B Patnaik’s son-in-law, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, is contesting the polls on a BJD ticket from Khandapara assembly seat in coastal Khurda district.

The case of Congress heavyweight and former chief minister Hemananda Biswal is interesting. While his elder daughter, Sunita Biswal is fighting Lok Sabha elections from tribal-dominated Sundergarh seat on a BJD ticket, his younger daughter Amita is the Congress nominee from Sundergarh town assembly constituency.

The scenario is more interesting in the family of former chief minister the late R N Singhdeo. His grandsons, Kalikesh and Arkesh, have been fielded by the BJD from western Odisha Bolangir Lok Sabha and Bolangir town assembly constituencies respectively. Kalikesh is the sitting MP from Bolangir.

The late chief minister’s other grand son (Raj Raj's son) Kanak Vardhan (KV), is the BJP candidate from Patnagarh assembly constituency while KV’s wife Sangeeta is the BJP nominee from Bolangir Lok Sabha seat.

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