BJD, BJP announce candidates for Odisha Rajya Sabha by-polls

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today announced the names of party candidates for bypolls to three Rajya Sabha seats of Odisha.

While BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik declared party’s IT Cell Chairman & spokesperson Amar Patnaik and spokesperson Sasmit Patra as its candidates, the BJP fielded former bureaucrat Ashwini Baishnab as its nominee.

Initially, Patnaik had announced the names of the above three as BJD candidates. Later, he clarified that his party would support Baishnab’s candidature.

“I think there was some confusion about Ashwini Baishnab. The Prime Minister and Home Minister spoke to me. We (BJD) will support the candidature of Ashwini Baishnab,” said Patnaik.

Polling will be held on July 5 between 9 am and 4 pm. Counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on the very day.

The three seats which fell vacant were held by BJD’s Achyutananda Samanta, Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik. While Samanta was elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, Deb and Patnaik won from Aul and Khandapada Assembly segments in the recently held elections.

Samanta and Patnaik’s term in the Upper House was to end in April, 2024 while Deb’s term in the Rajya Sabha was till July, 2022.

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