The BJD announced four nominees for the Rajya Sabha elections, bypassing prominent names that were expected to be front runners for seats to the Upper House.
Four seats are open with the terms of BJD leaders Sarojini Hembram, Narendra Swain, Anubhav Mohanty, and Congress leader Ranjib Biswal are set to end.
The BJD has declared the names of Muna Khan, Subhash Singh, Sujeet Kumar and Mamata Mahanta. Khan’s nomination, say party sources, may have been influenced by the protests in Odisha on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had thrown his support behind CAA, but had said a categorical “no” to NRC.
Sujit Kumar, who was Advisor Special Development Council to the government of Odisha, has been educated at Oxford and Harvard. Subhash Singh from Cuttack and Mamata Mahanta from Mayurbhanj have been working on the party’s organisational matters.
The BJD’s announcement bypassed former Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Pathsani, who was widely expected to be nominated for giving way to IPS Arup Patnaik as the party candidate for Lok Sabha in 2019. Arup Patnaik’s name was also doing the rounds as potential Rajya Sabha nominee. Former MP Kalikesh Singh Deo was also not nominated this time.
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