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Bhubaneswar: Five candidates, including three ruling BJD legislators, remained in the race for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha in February 7 as no candidate withdrew their nominations on the last date for withdrawal of names today.

"There was no withdrawal of nomination and all the five aspirants whose papers were found valid during scrutiny on January 29 are in the fray," said Amiya Kumar Sarangi, state assembly secretary who is also the returning officer for Rajya Sabha polls.

The nomination papers of three Independent candidates had been rejected after scrutiny on January 29 due to lack of required proposer for the purpose, he said.

Now election would be held on February 7 for which three BJD candidates ? Kalpataru Das, Ananga Uday Singhdeo and Sarojini Hembram ? Congress candidate Ranjib Biswal and Independent candidate Raghunath Mohapatra are in race.

Election has been necessitated for the Upper House of Parliament as the term of four Rajya Sabha members from the state is coming to an end in April.

While the three BJD MLAs are set to have a smooth sailing in the polls, there would be a contest for the fourth seat between BJD backed Independent candidate, renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and IPL Chairman and Congress nominee Biswal, sources said.

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