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Pradeep Pattanayak

With the tenure of three Rajya Sabha members, N Bhaskar Rao, Prasanna Acharya and Sasmit Patra, from Odisha coming to an end in July, speculations are rife about Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s choice. 

It is discussed in the political circle that Kalikesh Singh Deo, Pushpendra Singh Deo, Chairman of Western Odisha Development Council Asit Tripathy, OTDC Chairperson Shreemayee Mishra, Raseswari Panigrahi, Jogesh Singh, Nalini Pradhan and Prabhas Singh are the contenders from Western Odisha. At the same time, Prasanna Acharya may be repeated once more. 

Similarly, Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, Rabi Nanda, and Congress turncoat Pradeep Majhi from Southern Odisha are also in the race. 

Likewise, from Northern and Coastal Odisha, the names of leaders like Balasore BJD president Rabindra Jena, senior leader Maheshwar Mohanty, Prasanna Patasani and Manas Mangaraj are doing the rounds. 

At the same time, it is also possible that Naveen may prove all speculations wrong by playing a surprise card and choosing reputed male and female persons from the society.   

Regarding the party’s choice for Rajya Sabha members, BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said, “It is up to the party Supremo to take a call. Whatever responsibilities the party will give to anyone of us, we are to obey and discharge them.”

After N Bhaskar Rao and Prasanna Acharya, there would be none but Munna Khan of Biju Patnaik era. So, it is also discussed in the political corridors that anyone having links with the powerful section may be sent to the Rajya Sabha. 

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday released notification for elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats, including three from Odisha. The elections to the vacant RS seats will be held on June 10.

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