RS Polls: BJD candidates to file nomination today

Bhubaneswar: Three senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders – Prasanna Acharya, Bishnu Das and N. Bhaskar Rao – named as party candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections, would file their nomination papers on Monday.

Sources said the three party nominees will file their candidatures with the Assembly Secretary and Returning Officer Amiya Sarangi at the Assembly at about 1 pm.

The last date for filing of nomination is May 31 and scrutiny of the papers will take place on June 1.

Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik will remain present during the nomination. There will be 10 proposers (MLAs) each for the three candidates.

The deadline for withdrawal of candidature is June 3 while elections would be conducted in the Assembly building on June 11 between 9 am and 4 pm. Counting of votes would also take place the same day.

Given the steamrolling majority of the BJD in the state Assembly, all three seats are set to be captured by the ruling party, even if the opposition fields any candidate.

BJD has 117 members in the 147-member House, while the Congress has 16 and the BJP 10.

A winning candidate will need first preference votes of 37 MLAs.

Notably, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on Friday announced the names of the senior party leaders to be party candidates for the upper house.

Meanwhile, former Koraput MP and senior BJD leader Jayaram Pangi has expressed his reservations on the candidature of N Bhaskar Rao.

He said the Chief Minister could have selected any other leader instead of Bhaskar Rao given that he is the deputy chairman of state planning board.

The election was necessitated as the terms of three RS members of BJD Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Baishnab Charan Parida and Bhupinder Singh is coming to an end on July 1.

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