Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata on Friday announced candidates for by-elections to three Rajya Sabha seats of Odisha.
BJD president Naveen Patnaik declared party’s IT Cell Chairman Amar Patnaik and spokesperson Sasmit Patra as party’s nominees for the Upper House of Parliament.
Patnaik also announced his support for retired IAS officer Ashwini Baishnab, the BJP candidate from Odisha.
“The Prime Minister spoke to me as did the Home Minister. We (BJD) will support the candidature of Ashwini Baishnab, who was the private secretary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was the Prime Minister,” said Patnaik.
“The party has decided that Ashwini Baishnab will be BJP’s candidate for the upcoming bypolls to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha,” tweeted BJP’s state unit.
The polling will be held on July 5 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. while the counting of votes will take place at 5 p.m. the same day.
Three seats had fallen vacant after Achyuta Samanta, Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik were elected to Lok Sabha and Assembly in the recently held elections.
While Samanta was elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, Deb and Patnaik were elected from Aul and Khandapada Assembly segments.
Samanta and Patnaik’s term in the Upper House was to end in April, 2024 while Deb’s term in the Rajya Sabha was till July, 2022.