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Former Nalco CMD, 5 ex-servicemen join BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections

Updated on: 06 March,2024 04:42 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Four sitting MLAs and six ex-MLAs have joined the BJP in Odisha so far, reports say

Former Nalco CMD, 5 ex-servicemen join BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections

Nalco former CMD joins BJP. Pic/X

Former CMD of Nalco Tapan Kumar Chand and five ex-servicemen on Wednesday joined the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha ahead of the elections for the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly.

BJP Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal greeted Chand and others who joined the saffron party here. "I welcome Mr Chand and some ex-servicemen to the party. Their presence will strengthen the BJP in Odisha," Samal said.

Chand, a former student leader affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), was also the student union president of Utkal University in Bhubaneswar. He was a full-time CMD of Navratna PSU, National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) on July 25, 2015. Two years later, he joined as the director of Central Coalfields Limited. He also served in Vedanta as Resident Director of Odisha and Chhattisgarh and has over three decades of experience in the mining and metal sector, reported PTI.

Of the five ex-servicemen, three have served in the Navy, while the other two have Indian Air Force backgrounds, Samal said. Earlier, on March 3, former IAS officer Hrusikesh Panda, retired Air Marshal of Indian Air Force Dilip Kumar Patnaik, and former Joint Secretary of Rajya Sabha Ramakanta Das had joined the Odisha unit of the BJP.

Reportedly, four sitting MLAs and six ex-MLAs have joined the BJP so far. The people of Odisha who have taken Modi's guarantee will form a double engine government of BJP in Odisha in the coming days, BJP Odisha posted on X.

The Lok Sabha polls are slated to be held in April-May this year. The elections dates are expected to be announced this month.

Setting the pace ahead of its rivals, the BJP, on Saturday, released its first list of 195 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The list included 47 youth candidates, 28 women candidates, 27 Scheduled Caste (SC) faces, 18 Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates and 57 OBC/Backward Class nominees. BJP is likely to release its second list of candidates this week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a third straight term in the Lower House from Varanasi while Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP from the Congress in 2020, will contest from Guna in Madhya Pradesh.

Of the 195 candidates, 34 are ministers from the Center and States, while two are former chief ministers who are on the list. Home Minister Amit Shah will contest from Gandhinagar, while Mansukh Mandaviya will contest Porbandar. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will seek a fresh term in the Lok Sabha from Lucknow while his colleague in the central cabinet, Smriti Irani, will again contest from Amethi.

(With PTI inputs)

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