All 4 BJD candidates set to get elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed

Bhubaneswar: All the four BJD candidates were set to win the Rajya Sabha election unopposed as opposition BJP and Congress had not fielded any nominee for the March 26 polls in Odisha, and the nominations of four Independent candidates were expected to be rejected on technical grounds, officials said.

Friday was the last date for filing of nominations for the biennial polls.

A total of eight persons, including four Independent candidates, had filed their nomination papers for four Rajya Sabha seats, Odisha Assembly secretary-cum-returning officer for the March 26 polls Dasarathi Satpathy told PTI.

Sources, however, said none of the four Independent candidates — Ganeswar Mishra, Mamata Samantaray, L P Singh and B Hembram — had found 10 proposers, as required to make their nominations valid.

Their candidature will be rejected during the scrutiny of papers on March 16, they said.  While the Congress could not field any candidate as it lacked at least 10 proposers to back its nominee, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hesitated to contest the Rajya Sabha polls as it had only 23 members in the state Assembly, while a candidate required at least 29 first-preference votes to win the polls in Odisha.

While the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has 113 MLAs in the state, the BJP has 23, followed by nine of the Congress and one of the CPI(M). There is also an Independent legislator.  Under such circumstances, BJD’s Subhas Singh, Munna Khan, Sujit Kumar and Mamata Mahanta are all set to get elected to the Upper House of Parliament.

While Singh, an OBC, is a trade unionist, Khan, a party old-timer and close associate of late BJD founder Biju Patnaik, comes from the Muslim community. Kumar, who was an advisor to the Special Development Council, is a general category candidate and hails from Kalahandi district. Mahanta is a BJD women’s wing member from Mayurbhanj district.

Four of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha will fall vacant on April 2, after the completion of tenure of BJD lawmakers Anubhav Mohanty, Narendra Kumar Swain and Sarojini Hembram and Congress member Ranjib Biswal.

(PTI)

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