Three senior BJD leaders – Prasanna Acharya, Bishnu Das and N Bhaskar Rao - on Monday filed their nomination papers for the June 11 Rajya Sabha elections in Odisha.
The three leaders, representing three different regions of the state, filed their papers before the Returning officer at the Odisha Assembly in the presence of chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.
Assembly secretary cum returning officer A K Sarangi said the last date for filing of nomination is May 31 and scrutiny of the papers will take place on June 1.
As the BJD has 117 MLAs in 147 member Odisha Assembly, all the three vacant seats are likely to go in favour of the BJD candidates. While one candidate needs at least 37 first preference votes, the opposition Congress has only 16 MLAs while the BJP’s strength is just 10.
Patnaik had on Friday announced the names of the senior party leaders to be party candidates for the upper house.
“We three senior leaders are given opportunities by the BJD president as all of us are associated with Biju Parivar for about four decade. As 2016 is the Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary year, the party president chose elder persons for the Upper House,” said Bishnu Das after filing nomination paper.
Former Odisha minister and ex-MP Prasanna Acharya said he would try to expose the NDA government’s “false propaganda” that the Centre raised the state’s share. “In fact, Odisha got less share in 2025-16 fiscal even as the 14th finance commission recommended increase in the state share,” Acharya, a former finance minister said.
The election is required as three Rajya Sabha MPs -Pyarimohan Mohapatra, Baishnab Parida and Bhupinder Singh -will complete their tenure on July 1, 2016.