Journalist, academician in BJD’s list of Rajya Sabha nominees


Bhubaneswar, Mar 7

Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today nominated senior journalist Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, academician Achyuta Samanta and party spokesperson Prasanta Nanda as its nominees for the ensuing Rajya Sabha election from the state.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the names of the nominees.

Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, the son-in-law of former Odisha Chief Minister J B Patnaik and editor of a leading Odia daily, and Samanta, the founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), were inducted into the party today.

The ruling BJD is set to win all the three Rajya Sabha seats since the party has 118 MLAs in the House of 147. A candidate requires at least 37 first preference votes to get elected to the Upper House.

The opposition Congress has 15 MLAs, while the BJP has 10 legislators.

The Rajya Sabha elections were necessitated as the tenures of BJD members A U Singhdeo, Dilip Tirkey and BJD-backed Independent A V Swami come to an end on April 2.

“I am happy that the chief minister kept faith in me. We will raise the issues relating to Odisha’s interest in the Rajya Sabha,” Nanda, an actor-turned-politician, told reporters. He was earlier a state minister.

The last date for filing nomination papers for the RS polls is March 12.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on March 13 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15, according to a notification issued by the returning officer.

The polling and counting will be held on March 23, it said.

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