Bhubaneswar : Union minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan has said he is ready to fight the electoral battle from Odisha in 2019, but it is for the party to decide whether he will contest the Lok Sabha or state Assembly election.
Pradhan, a Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, is often challenged by the leaders of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the ruling party in Odisha, to contest the election from his home state, where Assembly polls are due in 2019.
“I will definitely contest the next election, due in 2019, from Odisha,” the Petroleum Minister told mediapersons on the sidelines of a function here yesterday.
He slammed the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in the state for shattering the hopes and aspirations of the youth.
Claiming that the people of Odisha were fed up with the “misrule” and “inefficiency” of the BJD, Pradhan said they had made up their mind to usher in a political change in the state.
“The people of Odisha want a change and to oust the BJD government…no one can stop it from happening,” he said.
Pradhan has been a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar since 2012. The BJP leader, who was elevated to the rank of a cabinet minister and given the additional charge of Skill Development in the Union ministry reshuffle last month, had not contested the 2014 polls.
Pradhan had won from the Pallahara constituency in the 2000 Odisha Assembly election. In 2004, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Deogarh constituency in the state when the BJP and BJD were allies.
The BJD had snapped its ties with the saffron outfit in the run-up to the 2009 polls.
Leaders of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the ruling party in Odisha, often challenge Dharmendra Pradhan to contest the election from his home state, where Assembly polls are due in 2019.
Pradhan who has been a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar since 2012, accepted the challenge and said he will definitely contest the next election and said people of Odisha are “fed up” with the “misrule” of BJD.