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Odisha Legislative Council Bill May Change Electoral Maths For Rajya Sabha Seats

Bhubaneswar: With four Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha all set to fall vacant by April this year, speculations have begun over the ruling-BJD’s choices and strategies.

Three Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant following the end of tenure of – Sarojini Hembram, Narendra Swain and Ranjib Biswal. Besides, one more seat in the Upper House is already vacant following actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty’s election from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency last year.

Looking at the numbers, three seats will go into the hands of the BJD. It is believed that the proposal for the formation of Odisha Legislative Council may change the political equations and BJD may support a BJP candidate (like Ashwini Vaishnav in the past) for the fourth seat.

“If the Odisha Legislative Council Bill is passed in parliament in the upcoming session, the BJD is likely to forego at least two seats for the BJP,” said political expert, Prasanna Mohanty.

Meanwhile, within the BJD, if reports are to be believed, many top leaders (who lost in 2019 polls) have already started lobbying for the RS membership.

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Though who all are in the good books of the party president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seems hard to guess as of now, Kalikesh Singh Deo, Puspendra Singh Deo and Nalini Pradhan are believed to be the three top contenders from Western Odisha.

Similarly, Sanjay Das Burma, Debasish Samantray, Maheshwar Mohanty, Rabindra Jena and Debasish Marandi are also seen as other contenders for the RS seats.

It is pertinent to mention here that CM Naveen had earlier announced to send senior party leaders Prasanna Patsani and Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik to Rajya Sabha.

While speculations are rife that the BJD supremo may also come up with a ‘surprise’ list of candidates, the ruling party has denied any type of lobbing to influence the decision of the party president.

“No decision is taken on the basis of any deal. The high-level party office bearers will take a decision and the party chief will take a final call,” said BJD spokesperson, Debi Mishra.

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