Naveen to decide on candidates for RS polls

Bhubaneswar: With the Election Commission today announcing elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats across 14 states on June 11, the ruling BJD has left the decision on selection of the candidates to party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

“The person having a clean image who can properly raise his/her voice in the Parliament for the larger interest of Odisha, will be selected as the candidate for Rajya Sabha. Our party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik will take a final decision on the selection of the candidates in consultation with the senior leaders of the party,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena told media persons here today.

In his statement, another BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said he had not been apprised by the party supremo of his decision in the matter of selection of candidates. “I have also not received any suggestions from him in this regard so far. If I receive any suggestions from him, I will inform the media. I cannot tell anything right now as I am a disciplined member of the party. I will abide by whatever decision the party president takes,” he added.

On the other hand, the Opposition Congress and BJP have not decided whether to field candidates for the Rajya Sabha as the BJD is sure to win all three seats given the numbers in the Assembly.

In Odisha, election will be held for three seats as the tenure of Pyarimohan Mahapatra, Baisnab Parida and Bhupinder Singh will expire on July 1.

While Mahapatra and Parida were elected to the Upper House on June 17, 2010, Singh had replaced Sashi Bhusan Behera as the Rajya Sabha member on June 26, 2014.

Out of a total of 10 Rajya Sabha seats for Odisha, the BJD, Congress and the Independents have seven, one and two seats respectively.

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