BJD Picks Amar Patnaik, Sasmit Patra; To Support BJP Nominee Ashwini Vaishnav in RS Poll

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal today announced the names of candidates for the by-elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha.

The party has also decided to support the candidature of BJP’s nominee Ashwani Vaishnav.

Ashwini is a former bureaucrat who has served under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as deputy secretary.

Announcing the names of the three candidates, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had spoken to him regarding Ashwini’s candidature.

The BJD will support his election to the Rajya Sabha.

While Sasmit Patra is BJD’s spoksperson, Amar Patnaik is party’s IT cell chief. The announcement was made by BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here this evening.

As per the Election Commission’s notification, the election to the three seats vacated by Achyuta Samanta, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Pratap Keshari Deb will be held on July 5.

Patnaik and Deb resigned from the Rajya Sabha after they got elected to the 16th Odisha assembly while Samanta vacated the seat after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kandhamal.

Tenure of Patnaik and Samanta is due till April 2024 while that of Deb is till July 2022.

Though Anubhav Mohanty has also resigned from the Rajya Sabha after he elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapada, there will be no by-election for his seat as less than a year left for completion of his tenure. Mohanty’s Rajya Sabha tenure will end in April 2020.

The last date of filing nomination is June 25, while election will be held during 9 am to 4 pm on July 5, the EC said earlier.

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