By Anurjay Dhal
BHUBANESWAR: The in and outside of Naveen Niwas , the official residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, which usually remained jam-packed in normal times, wore on Wednesday festive look with added flavour.With Election Commission of India announcing poll schedules for 55 Rajya Sabha seats including 4 from Odisha, ticket aspirants are started making beeline at Naveen Niwas.
Four Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha will fall vacant after completion of tenure of three BJD MPs Anubhav Mohanty, Narendra Swain and Sarojini Hembram and Congress member Ranjib Biswal on April 2.Anubhav Mohanty has been elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019’s general elections from Kendrapara Parliamentary seat.
“With BJD boss has been focusing more women community, a woman candidate must out of 4, and sources said adding a candidate from OBC community also not deniable,” BJD MP and spokesperson Amar Patnaik however hinted that the Party is preparing to fight for all 4 seats alone.
Sources said leaders like Srimayee Mishra, Prasanna Patsani, Ramesh Chhoupattnaik, Dilip Ray and more on line. The BJD had in 2019 supported BJP candidate and former Odish cadre IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav in the Rajya Sabha elections. Vaishnav was then come under fire from Congress for his close proximity with Mines Contractor B Prabhakaran of Tamil Nadu’s Salem.
Government chief whip Pramila Mallick told reporters that BJD is not under any pressure over seat-sharing for the Rajya Sabha elections. The party president will take a call on this matter.
While the BJD is set to retain its three seats, it is not sure about bagging the fourth seat that is being vacated by the Congress MP.
According to the existing formula for the Rajya Sabha polls, one candidate needs at least 29 first preference seats for victory. Since BJD has 113 MLAs, it can easily win three seats, but it is short of three members to win the fourth seat.
The BJP, with 23 MLAs which is less by 6 first preference votes for the RS Polls, said it will field one candidate for the fourth seat. The Congress has only 9 MLAs in the 147 member-strong House. The CPI(M) has only one member in the House and there is also an Independent MLA.
While notification for the biennial elections will be issued on March 6, March 13 is the last date of filing nominations.Counting will be held on the evening of March 26, an hour after the conclusion of polls.