Bhubaneswar : Wife, brother, son, they are all contesting. The Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Orissa in April will be quite a family affair.
The Congress has fielded former chief minister Giridhar Gamang from Koraput. This is the 10th time he is seeking election to the Lok Sabha.
While his wife Hema, a former Lok Sabha member and current legislator, will contest from Laxmipur assembly seat, son Shisir Gamang has joined the fray for the first time — from Gunpur assembly constituency.
The Congress has also given ticket to legislator Niranjan Patnaik from Ghasipura assembly seat in Keonkhar district. His brother Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, a former Lok Sabha member, is standing from Khandapada assembly seat in Nayagarh district.
Soumya is the son-in-law of former Congress chief minister J.B. Patnaik.
Congress leader Suresh Routray is contesting from Jatni, his son-in-law Prasad Harichandan from Satyabadi. Both are assembly seats.
Ranjib Biswal, son of late Congress veteran Basanta Biswal, is pitted in the Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat while his elder brother Chiranjib Biswal is seeking election from Jagatsinghpur assembly constituency.
The Congress has also given ticket to leader of the opposition in the assembly, Ramachandra Ulaka, and his younger brother Dambarudhar. While the senior Ulaka will seek re-election from his traditional Rayagada assembly seat, junior Ulaka will contest from Bisam Katak. Both seats are in Rayagada district.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has also given ticket to several relatives of veteran politicians.
Prasanna Acharya and his elder brother Ananda Acharya are candidates from Rairakhol in Sambalpur district and Bargarh assembly constituency in Bargarh district respectively.
A.U. Singh Deo, son of former chief minister Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo, has been fielded from the Bolangir assembly seat. A.U. Singh Deo’s son Kalikesh Singh Deo is contesting from the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat.
Prakruti Devi Singhdeo, another family member, will contest from Patnagarh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not far from fielding the relatives of senior politicians.
Shanti Devi, a member of the Dharakot erstwhile royal family and wife of former minister A.N. Singhdeo, has been fielded from Aska. Her son Kishore Chandra Singhdeo is contesting from Sanakhemundi assembly constituency.
The party has fielded K.V. Singh Deo from Patnagarh assembly seat and his wife Sangeeta Singh Deo for the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat.
The BJP has fielded Biswabhusan Harichandan from Bhubaneswar in the assembly polls. It is likely to field his son, Prithwiraj Harichandan, as a Lok Sabha candidate in southern Orissa. Biswabhusan’s brother Bibhuti is contesting from Chilika assembly seat.