Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced the name of former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey as a candidate for the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
Patnaik also announced veteran party leader Rabi Mahapatra as the second candidate for the elections.
The elections for three Rajya Sabha seats in the state would be held on March 30. The candidates have to file their nominations on March 19.
Out of a total of 147 seats in Odisha Assembly, BJD has a strength of 103, which will enable two of its Rajya Sabha candidates to easily sail through.
Tirkey, who was born in November 24, 1977, in Sundergarh district had started playing for the country at the age of 18 as a defender. Since then, he played in three Olympic Games – Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 – and also in several World Cups, Asian Games, Asia Cups and Champions Trophy tournaments.
Tirkey has received Padma Shri and Eklavya Award for his contribution to hockey.