Rajya Sabha polls: BJD candidates file nominations

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Bhubaneswar, May 30 (IANS) Prasanna Acharya, Bishnu Das and N. Bhaskar Rao of Odisha’s ruling BJD on Monday filed their nomination papers for Rajya Sabha polls to be held on June 11.

The three filed each two sets of nomination papers before the returning officer in Odisha assembly in presence of Chief Minister and party chief Naveen Patnaik and several other leaders of the party.

Returning officer A.K. Sarangi said the last date for filing of nomination is May 31 while the nomination papers would be scrutinised on June 1. Counting of votes will be held right after the election, he added.

However, an election would not be held if only three candidates remain in the fray after the deadline for withdrawal.

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The Biju Janata Dal, with 117 members in the 147-member assembly, is certain to win the three seats.

While candidate needs at least 37 first preference votes to win, the opposition Congress has only 16 members and the Bharatiya Janata Party just 10, and are unlikely to contest.

“We three senior leaders have been given opportunities as all of us are associated with Biju Parivar for about four decades. As the state is celebrating legendary leader Biju Patnaik’s birth centenary, the party president chose elder persons for the upper house,” said Das after filing his nomination.

Election to the upper house is necessitated as three seats fall vacant on July 1 with the tenure of Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Bhupindar Singh and Baisnab Charan Parida ending.

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