Patnaik announces four BJD candidates for Rajya Sabha elections


PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: 29-05-2022 18:23 IST | Created: 29-05-2022 18:15 IST
Patnaik announces four BJD candidates for Rajya Sabha elections
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik [File Photo/ANI] Image Credit: ANI
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Odisha Chief Minister and ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced the names of four candidates of his party for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

The Biju Janata Dal named three new candidates - Sulata Deo, Manas Ranjan Mangaraj, and Niranjan Bishi - and renominated Sasmit Patra for the polls to the Upper House of Parliament.

The announcement came on a day that marks the third anniversary of the Naveen Patnaik-led government's fifth tenure in the state.

Patnaik chose Bishi, a tribal face of the party in the western region of the state, while Mangaraj is from the coastal belt and Patra is the former president of the Odisha Minority Forum. Deo is the only woman among the four BJD nominees for the Rajya Sabha polls.

The tenure of three incumbent Rajya Sabha MPs from OdishaNekkanti Bhaskar Rao, Prasanna Acharya, and Patra - will expire on July 1, while another seat in the Upper House of Parliament fell vacant due to the resignation of BJD's Subhas Singh.

Singh resigned as Rajya Sabha MP after he became mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation in March this year. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in April 2020. Polling for the three Rajya Sabha seats will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on June 10, and the counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on that day.

The by-election to another seat of the Upper House of Parliament will be conducted on June 13 and the counting will be held after the poll.

The ruling party did not announce who among the four candidates will contest the by-election for the Rajya Sabha seat that was vacated by Singh. The BJD, which has 113 MLAs in the 147-member Assembly House, is likely to win all four seats. The opposition BJP and Congress have 22 and nine legislators respectively. According to party sources, the selection of Bishi, who joined the BJD just two days ago, was a surprise to several leaders. Bishi, whose nomination has created resentment among the party's tribal community leaders in the western region, said, ''I am thankful to the chief minister for reposing faith in me and will raise tribal issues in Parliament.'' He is also the secretary-general of Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Mahasangha, a tribal organization having its influence in the districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, and Nuapada.

He hails from Patnagarh of Bolangir district, considered to be a stronghold of the opposition BJP. Commenting on the party's announcement, Mangaraj said he has been in politics since 2002 and looking after the media affairs of the BJD government in the state. ''Being a media person, I will raise various issues in the interest of the state in Parliament. I thank the chief minister for allowing me to serve the Odisha people.'' Deo, the woman nominee from the BJD, said she became speechless after she found her name on the list of the BJD candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections. ''The BJD government has all along worked for the development of women. I will work hard and thank our organizational secretary Pranab Prakash Das,'' she said.

Patra stated that he is indebted to the chief minister for being renominated to the Upper House of Parliament.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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