Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 11:
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal and the state unit of BJP today declared their mandatory list of star campaigners for the upcoming panchayat polls.
Both parties have included 40 names each in their star campaigners list that features veteran politicians, movie stars and young leaders. They will tour across the state to promote for their party candidates in the poll fray.
According to BJD Spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro, its campaign will be led by party president Naveen Patnaik.
Besides, Excise Minister Damodar Rout, Revenue Minister Bijayshree Routray, School and Mass Education Minister Debiprasad Mishra, Rajya Sabha MPs: Prasanna Acharya and Anang Uday Singh Deo, Vice President Surya Narayan Patro among others will form the political circle of the star campaigners club.
The party has also roped in both its cine star MPs Anubhav Mohanty and Sidhant Mohapatra, actor turned MLA Akash Das Nayak, sports star turned MP Dilip Tirkey and other renowned members of local entertainment industry such as Mihir Das, Trupti Das, Kuna Tripathy and Arindam for the campaign duty.
According to a press notification issued by Odisha BJP, its star campaigner list includes state unit president Basant Panda, Leader of Legislature Party KV Singh Deo, both union ministers: Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, former Odisha BJP President Manmohan Samal, party veteran Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Bijoy Mohapatra, MLAs: Dillip Ray, Pradeep Purohit, Rabi Nayak, Radharani Panda, national Secretary Suresh Pujari among others.
The stat attractions of the party are: Sritam Das and Pinky Pradhan.
In a related development, the process of filing nomination papers for the panchayat polls began today and will continue till January 17, said State Election Commission (SEC) Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu.
According to reports, as many as 6,385 candidates today filed their nomination on the first day. While the highest number of nominations were filed in Ganjam with 531 filings, lowest were reported in Jharsuguda at 7.
According to Sahu, the nomination papers will be scrutinized on January 18 and the candidates can withdraw their nominations till January 21. The final list of candidates will be published the same day after 3 PM.