Vikash Sharma

Senior BJD leaders- Debashish Samantaray and Subhasish Khuntia- on Tuesday filed their nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections. CM Naveen Patnaik and other BJD leaders were present during the filing of the nomination papers in the state Assembly today.

Earlier, the BJD had nominated the former MLA of the Barabati-Cuttack constituency, Debasish Samantray and Subasish Khuntia as its candidate for Rajya Sabha.

Khuntia is currently the vice president of Biju Yuba Janata Dal and the BJD sprang up a surprise by nominating him to the Rajya Sabha. Earlier, the name of Santrupt Misra, who joined the BJD recently, was also doing rounds as a frontrunner in the Rajya Sabha race.

In his reaction, Samantaray said, “CM Naveen Patnaik has given me a key responsibility and it shows that he has faith that I will be able to put Odisha’s demands and CM’s vision for a federal structure.”

Prior to filing his nomination, Samantaray said from the Assembly to the Rajya Sabha, it was like a promotion for him.

Subhasish Khuntia said, “I have filed two sets of nominations. CM Naveen Patnaik is our leader. Whatever responsibility was given, I have discharged it.”

According to Khuntia, BJD is working for the people and the party will win in the coming elections.

Meanwhile, speculation is now rife why BJD only announced the names of two candidates even though three Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant after the terms of Ashwini Vaishnaw, Prashant Nanda and Amar Pattnaik will expire in April, 2024.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) in its notification said that the last date for filing of nomination is February 15 and the last date for withdrawal is February 20. The counting of votes will be held on February 27, 2024.

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