Bhubaneswar: Rajya Sabha member and editor of “Sambad” Soumya Ranjan Patnaik will contest from Khandapara Assembly constituency under Nayagarh district as the Biju Janata Dal candidate. This was announced by Biju Janata Dal supremo Naveen Patnaik today.
In his reaction, Soumya Ranjan said: “I am extremely grateful to Naveen Patnaik for reposing faith on me and giving party ticket to me to contest from Khandapara seat. I would urge those unhappy with ticket distribution to work together to help the party emerge victorious with huge margin.”
Soumya Ranjan had joined Biju Janata Dal on March 7, 2018 and was elected to Rajya Sabha. He has also been the co-chairman of BJD manifesto committee headed by Naveen.
Patnaik had earlier been elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Bhubaneswar defeating CPM candidate Sivaji Patnaik.
In the last Assembly election, he had contested from Khandapara segment. Head of Ama Odisha Party, a regional outfit, Patnaik had however been defeated by only 601 votes from his nearest rival Anubhav Patnaik of ruling BJD. He had also contested 2009 Assembly election from the same constituency on Congress ticket and lost to BJD’s Siddharth Sekhar Singh.
Sixty seven year-old Patnaik had passed post graduation in Political Science from Benares Hindu University. After a brief period of teaching, he had entered the media arena by establishing Sambad, the largest Odia daily. Besides editing several publications under the banner of Sambad Group, he has been associated with several socio-cultural movements including Odia language and voluntary blood donation programme.