Alikishore Pattnaik from Berhampur; name yet to be decided for Balasore

Ruling out any possibility of alliance with Biju Janata Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) announced its candidates for both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections here on Monday.

The party will field candidates in 12 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies.

Addressing a press conference, CPI (M) State secretary Janardan Pati said, “senior CPI(M) leader Alikishore Pattnaik will contest from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. Although as of now we have decided to field our candidate from Balasore Lok Sabha seat, we have not finalised any name.”

The party will contest from Assembly seats including Bonai, Rourkela, Nilagiri, Remuna, Jaleswar, Salipur, Ranapur, Nayagarh, Satyabadi, Digapahandi, Paralakhemundi and Mohana.

The name of candidate for the Satyabadi constituency will be declared at a later stage. The CPI (M) had tried to take BJD on board in the anti-Congress and anti-BJP national alliance and it was expected that the party would clinch the issue with the ruling party in the State. However, the BJD had shied away from both fronts.

In 2009, the CPI (M) had pre-poll seat adjustment with the BJD with regard to four Assembly seats — Bonai, Nilagiri, Khurda and Jaleswar — and one Lok Sabha seat – Sundargarh.

“Ever since the Biju Janata Dal came into being, we have entered into pre-poll seat adjustment only for once. Our objective in fighting election is pretty clear. We will try to keep Congress and BJP away from power at national level and Biju Janata Dal at State level,” Mr. Pati said.

He said the party was open to alliance with parties having secular credentials in the remaining seats.

When asked why CPI (M) was fielding candidates in limited seats, the party secretary said, “the Assembly segments have been selected on the basis of the party’s performance in the last civic polls. Besides, we chose some Assembly seats where we have successfully built people’s movements during past five years.”

The State’s development issues would be the party’s major poll issue during the campaign, Mr. Pati said, adding that massive irregularities in mineral sector, acute unemployment problems and rise in essential prices would also figure in the campaigning.

“During 14 years, BJD has fared very badly as the State has been placed at the bottom of development ranking. The problem of migration has become acute during the rule of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” Mr. Pati said.

“Senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury will remain present at time of filing nomination at Chhatrapur and later he will address a public meeting there,” said Mr. Pattnaik, CPI(M) Lok Sabha candidate from Berhampur.