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Vikash Sharma

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced the names of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates for the elections to four Rajya Sabha seats.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) nominated senior leader Sasmit Patra, Manas Mangaraj, Sulata Deoa nd Niranjan Bishi as its nominees for the ensuing Rajya Sabha election from the state.

Earlier the names of Sasmit Patra, Sulata Deo and Manas Mangaraj were doing rounds and were the front runners in race for the Upper House. It will be second Rajya Sabha term for Sasmit Patra. Sources said that BJD decided to go with Patra once again in view of his performance in the Rajya Sabha.

While picking up its nominees, the BJD has tried to give due representations to leaders from Western, Coastal Odisha and the minority community and also played the women card.  The only surprise card played by BJD chief is Niranjan Bishi who has lately emerged as the tribal face of the party.

“I thank CM Naveen Patnaik for nominating me. I will certainly work in raising the issues pertaining to the problems and issues faced by the people of Odisha in Parliament in a right manner. I will make the voice of the State heard in Delhi,” said Manas Mangaraj.

Sulata Deo said, “I am thankful to BJD supremo for reposing faith on me. I will try to fight for the rights of people and Odisha. The focus of our party is on women empowerment and I will work to carry forward the initiatives taken so far. ”

Sasmit Patra said, “There are several issues which need to be addressed by the Centre. I had never thought that I would be given another chance and will work in such a manner that the Odisha gets what it deserves.”

“CM Naveen Patnaik has a clean image and is committed to make Odisha a number one state. I will always work to address the problems faced by tribals and other backward classes by raising the issues in Parliament,” said Niranjan Bishi.

As per the official notification, the election will be held for three seats on June 10 as the tenure of Prasanna Acharya, N. Bhaskar Rao and Dr Sasmit Patra ends on July 1. The process of filing of the nomination paper is already open and the last date is May 31, 2022.

Another Rajya Sabha seat which got vacated after senior BJD leader Subhas Singh resigned from the House on April 21 for contesting the post of Mayor in Cuttack in the recently concluded Municipal elections. An election was necessitated as Singh took over as the Mayor of Cuttack. The Rajya Sabha byelection for the seat will be held on June 13.

The BJD is in a position to win all the four seats as it has a strength of 122 members in the Assembly.

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