Ramakanta Biswas

Ending all speculations, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday renominated Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election in Odisha.

The saffron party released its Rajya Sabha nomination list for Madhya Pradesh and Odisha today. On its X (formerly known as Twitter) handle, the BJP said that the Central Election Committee of the party has given its approval to five names, including Ashwini Vaishnaw, to contest the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

Other leaders include L Murugan, Umesh Nath Maharaj, Maya Naroliya, and Bansilal Gurjar, all from Madhya Pradesh.

Both Vaishnaw and Murugan will be serving their second term in the Upper House if elected.

Meanwhile, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has announced support for the candidature of Vaishnaw.

“Biju Janata Dal will support the candidature of Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Union Minister, Railways, Communication and Technology for the larger interest of State’s Railways and Telecom Development in the ensuing election to Rajya Sabha-2024,” read an official statement released by the BJD.

“Last time, Vaishnaw was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha with support from BJD and he was given an important ministry like Railway. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter today to extend BJD’s support for Vaishnaw again for the larger interest of Odisha only. We will expect that, under Vaishnaw’s leadership, a lot of development work in the railway sector will take place in Odisha in the coming days,” said BJD MP Munna Khan.

Earlier, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had announced the names of Debashish Samantaray and Subhasish Khuntia as its nominees to the Rajya Sabha. However, the ruling party has not announced its third nominee.

Meanwhile, Vaishnaw reached Odisha on a two-day visit on Wednesday. Speaking on his candidature for the Rajya Sabha election, Vaishnaw said, “I am a disciplined worker of Bharatiya Janata Party. The party takes all decisions of my public life. I am grateful to PM Narendra Modi for giving me the opportunity to serve again.”

Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled to be held on February 27.