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Who will make the cut for Rajya Sabha from Odisha?

Bhubaneswar: With notification for election already published, BJD which holds the majority with 118 MLAs in the 147 Odisha Assembly is likely to field its candidates for the three vacant posts of Rajya Sabha soon.

The party’s strength will go upto 119 MLAs after Rita Sahu, who was recently elected from Bijepur, takes oath as tomorrow.

Though Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik had earlier clarified that only ‘ political leaders’ will be sent to Rajya Sabha, speculations are now rife over possible candidates who will secure a berth for the upper house.

The names of party’s vice president Bimbadhar Kuanr, former ministers Sharada Nayak, Raghunath Mohanty, Arabinda Dhali, spokesperson Prashant Nanda and Rabi Nanda are doing the rounds.

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I am a disciplined party worker and have been with the people. We have faith on CM Naveen Patnaik that he will pick the right candidate

– said BJD spokesperson Rabi Nanda.

Besides speculation is also rife that Ama Odisha party chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik could also be given a Rajya Sabha ticket provided he joins BJD.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb on the other hand said the party supremo will take the appropriate decision soon.

I am not aware that my name is in the race for Rajya Sabha and all know that CM Naveen Patnaik takes the final decision

– said BJD spokesperson Prashant Nanda.

Many believe that Naveen Patnaik can also spring up a surprise by nominating second line of leaders which he has done in the past.

Former bureaucrat Bijay Patnaik and Principal Accountant General (Kerela) Amar Patnaik are being seen as contenders for Rajya Sabha.

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