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Cong to follow 'one family, one ticket' policy in Odisha

twitter-logoPTI | March 7, 2019 | Updated 21:52 IST

(Eds: With more details) Bhubaneswar, Mar 7 (PTI) With many senior Congress leaders in Odisha seeking additional tickets for their family members in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections, state in-charge Jitendra Singh Thursday said the party will strictly follow 'one family, one ticket' policy. The state and national elections are expected to take place simultaneously. "Some leaders seek tickets for more than one member of their families. This time, the party has decided that only one ticket will be given to one family. "However, if a senior family member, to whom the ticket is allotted, decides not to contest, he or she has the option to pass on the ticket to his/her son or daughter," Singh told reporters. Party sources said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik has applied for assembly seat ticket, while his son Nabajyoti Patnaik wishes for a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls. Former OPCC president Jaydev Jena and his son Sangram have both applied for separate assembly seats, while Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and son Samarendra have sought the nod for assembly and Lok Sabha elections, respectively. Former chief minister Hemanda Biswal and his daughter Sunita Biswal have sought nomination for Lok Sabha and assembly tickets, the sources said. The AICC leader also said that the party has decided to give priority to youth, women and new faces with chances of winning the polls. "Youths will this time get priority," Singh said, adding the youth constitute a major portion of voters in the state. The Pradesh Election Committee of Odisha Congress had on Wednesday prepared the list for 147 assembly segments and 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, and sent it for the approval of the party's Central Election Committee. The final list will be published after scrutiny and approval by the high command. The Congress at present has no Lok Sabha member in the state, while it has 13 MLAs in the state assembly. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visiting the state on Friday for the third time within a span of two months. The BJP as well Congress are making a serious bid to give a tough fight to the ruling BJD. In 2014, out of a total of 21 Lok Sabha seats, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's party had won at 20 places, while Union minister Jual Oram had managed to win from Sundergarh constituency of the state. While suspended BJD MP Baijayant Panda has crossed over to the BJP, another party MP Tathagat Satpathy on Tuesday announced his retirement from politics to "refocus" on journalism. PTI AAM RG SNS SRY

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