Rajya Sabha

Race for lone Rajya Sabha seat hots up in Odisha

Assembly issues notification for Rajya Sabha polls set to be held on Dec 14

BHUBANESWAR: Race for the lone Rajya Sabha seat among the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha is hotting up with the state assembly issuing a notification for bypoll of the one seat which fell vacant following the demise of BJD MP Kalpataru Das.

While the process for nomination filing began on Thursday and will continue till December 3, verification of papers will be done in December, and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is on December 7. Polling for the lone seat is scheduled to be held on December 14.

The Upper House seat from Odisha had fallen vacant following the demise of senior BJD leader Kalpataru Das on July 25 this year.

Das’s tenure as Rajya Sabha member was until April 2, 2020.

Sources said while the hope of ace sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who lost to Ranjib Biswal of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls held in February despite the overt support of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, have been rekindled with the vacant seat, several other BJD leaders were also in the race this time.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb, who is one of the aspirants, maintained that the Chief Minister would take a final call on the issue.

Other BJD members, who are in the race for the seat, include former finance minister Prasanna Acharya, who had lost the last Assembly elections, but enjoys the confidence of Naveen. The other BJD leader vying for the post is former minister Rabi Narayan Nanda from Koraput, who also lost the last Assembly election.

Even some young BJD leaders, who have worked for the party for many years without any rewards, are interested in the seat.

The BJD, which enjoys a brute majority of 117 in the 147-member House, is certain to win the seat that has fallen vacant because of Das’s death.