By-election to Rajya Sabha from Odisha: Who could be lucky ones in CM Naveen’s list?

While all eyes are now on CM Naveen's selection criteria for RS candidates, rumours are doing rounds that the CM may adopt a carrot and stick policy to pacify dissidents, if any, after the announcement of the three names

Bhubaneswar: With the release of the notification for the by-election to fill three vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha, speculations are now rife as to who will be the lucky ones to get ruling-BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s nod. For the BJD, which will capture all the three seats given its strength in the Assembly, the list of aspirants for the Upper House is quite long.

According to sources, the BJD president had promised RS berths to former Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani and ex-MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, who were denied tickets during the recently concluded general elections. Hence, it is believed that while candidates for two seats are already finalised, given that Naveen fulfils his promises, there could be some haggling for the third berth with many names like Amar Patnaik, Sasmit Patra and Srimayi Mishra doing the rounds.

On the issue, Prasanna Patsani had earlier said, “CM had announced my name for Rajya Sabha and whatever he says, he does. I am doing my duty and not lobbying.”

Similarly, Chyau Patnaik had said, “When Naveen had visited Ganjam and Bikram Panda got Berhampur Assembly ticket, I was asked to work together and assured of Rajya Sabha seat. I am hopeful of being sent to the Upper House.”

BJD MLA Kishore Mohanty said that the party has a list of names with priorities assigned and the BJD chief will select those names which he would think are capable of raising the issues plaguing the State in the Rajya Sabha.

While four more Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant after April 2, 2020, all eyes are now on CM Naveen’s selection criteria for RS candidates. Besides, rumours are also doing rounds that the CM may adopt a carrot and stick policy to pacify dissidents, if any, after the announcement of three names.