Lobbying begins in BJD for Rajya Sabha berths from Odisha
Lobbying has started within the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) after the Election Commission announced the date for holding bypolls for three Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha.
The bypolls for three vacant Rajya Sabha seats will be held on July 5.
Going by the number of MLAs in the state Assembly, political parties other than the BJD do not have a chance in the Rajya Sabha polls. Out of 147 members in the House, the BJD has 111 MLAs.
Since each candidate for three vacant Rajya Sabha seats will require support of 38 MLAs to win, it is certain that BJD would retain all the three seats.
Many senior BJD leaders, who were deprived of party tickets in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, are lobbying hard to get an Upper House berth. Besides, the leaders who contested unsuccessfully are also in the race.
"I have full faith in the Chief Minister (Naveen Patnaik) who is true to his word. The Chief Minister had announced to send me to Rajya Sabha after I was denied a party ticket to contest Lok Sabha. However, I have not received any offer yet personally," said former MP Prasanna Patsani.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, who was defeated from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat, said he has no idea over his nomination to the Rajya Sabha.
Patnaik, however, maintained that he is always ready to follow the instruction of the Chief Minister, being a man from a "disciplined background".
Notably, three Rajya Sabha seats had fallen vacant after Achyuta Samanta, Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik got elected in the twin polls.
While Samanta was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kandhamal, both Deb and Patnaik were elected to the state Assembly.
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.
However, there will be no byelection for Anubhav Mohanty, who has been elected to Lok Sabha from Kendrapara as there is less than a year left for completion of his tenure which will end in April 2020.IANS