The party to support an independent candidate for the fourth seat

The ruling Biju Janata Dal on Monday announced candidates for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections. The election for four Rajya Sabha seats in the State is scheduled to be held on February 7.

Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das, Textiles Minister Sarojini Hembram and former Minister Ananga Udaya Singh Deo will be the party candidates for three Rajya Sabha seats for which the BJD had adequate number of legislators in the 147-member State Assembly.

As the BJD did not have the required number of legislators to win the fourth Rajya Sabha seat, Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik has already announced that the party would support renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra as an independent candidate for the fourth seat.

On the other hand, opposition Congress has already fielded IPL chairman and former Lok Sabha member from Jagatsinghpur Ranjib Biswal as its candidate for the fourth seat. A keen contest between Mr. Biswal and Mr. Mohapatra is likely for the fourth seat as the latter had the support of BJD and the Bharatiya Janata Party is also likely to support his candidature.

In the current Assembly, BJD has 108 members, Congress 27, BJP six, and CPI one, while there are five independent members. As per the arithmetic, a candidate requires the first preference vote of 30 legislators to win.

Scrutiny on Jan. 29

The filing of nomination papers began January 21 and the process continues till Tuesday. Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on January 29, while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 31.

All the five candidates are likely to file their nomination papers on Tuesday.


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