Congress has named Jay Narayan Patnaik as its Lok Sabha candidate from Puri in Odisha on Saturday after Sucharita Mohanty returned her ticket, citing alleged denial of funding by the party.
“The Congress President (Mallikarjun Kharge) has approved the candidature of Shri Jay Narayan Patnaik (In place of Smt. Sucharita Mohanty) as the party candidate for the ensuing general elections to the Lok Sabha from 17 – Puri Parliamentary Constituency of Odisha,” the Congress said in a statement.
Patnaik has been associated with the Congress for the past few years, he will make his electoral debut in this election. The last date for filing nominations in Puri is May 6.
Mohanty, who stood second from Puri in the 2014 polls, returned her ticket on Saturday, saying that without the party’s financial help, it will not be possible for her to campaign in Puri.
In a letter to party general secretary KC Venugopal, Mohanty claimed that her campaign in the Puri constituency “has been hit hard” due to lack of funds adding that her efforts to raise funds through public donation drive also saw little to no success.
“Our campaign in the Puri Parliamentary constituency has been hit hard because the party has denied me funding. AICC Odisha in-charge Ajoy Kumar ji categorically asked me to fund for myself. I was a salaried professional journalist who entered electoral politics 10 years ago. I have given all I have into my campaign in Puri,” Mohanty stated in her letter.
“I tried a public donation drive to support my campaign for progressive politics without much success so far. I also tried to cut down the projected campaign spending to the minimum,” she added.

She further said that the party’s central leadership did not tend to her several requests to provide funds.
“Since I couldn’t raise funds on my own, I knocked at your and all other doors of our party’s central leadership urging them to commit the necessary party funds for an impactful campaign in Puri Parliament seat. Like in 2014, I found a groundswell of popular support behind our party and my candidature. In this 2024 Satta Vs Janata election, the people are all set to throw out the two corrupt and scamsters ruling parties, BJP and BJP and vote for 5 Nyays and 25 guarantees of Congress,” Mohanty said.
Puri is among the high-profile poll battles that will unfold in Odisha, with the BJP fielding its national spokesperson Sambit Patra for the second straight time and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD fielding former Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik. The constituency, currently held by the Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Pinaki Misra, votes in the sixth phase on May 25.
In 2019, the Congress secured only 3.94 per cent of the votes in Puri. This was way down from 2014, when Mohanty’s vote share was 18.5 per cent and she finished second.
Like in 2019, the simultaneous elections in Odisha this time will be held in four phases, with the only difference this time being that the state will vote in the last four of the seven phases, unlike last time when it voted in the first four phases.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, BJD under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik won 12 of the 21 seats. The BJP won eight seats and Congress got one seat.
The BJD swept the Odisha assembly polls in 2019, winning 112 seats. BJP won 23 seats and Congress nine seats. (ANI)