RS polls: Prashanta, Soumya and Achyuta files nomination papers

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and party spokesperson Prashanta Nanda, media baron Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and KIIT and KISS founder Dr Achyuta Samanta on Friday filed their nomination papers for elections to the three vacant seats in Rajya Sabha from Odisha.

Nanda, Patnaik and Samanta filed their nominations before the Returning Officer Rajesh Prabhakar Patil at the State Assembly Conference Hall in the presence of Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik and other BJD stalwarts.

Patnaik and Samanta had joined the ruling BJD party on the morning of March 7 and they were picked as the party representative for the upcoming Upper House polls by the CM in the evening.

The CM had also named Nanda for the Rajya Sabha polls on the same day.

Notably, the Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha are among total 58 seats which would go to poll on March 23. Elections to three seats in Odisha will be held as tenure of Dilip Tirkey, AU Singhdeo and BJD-backed independent candidate AV Swami would complete in April, 2018.

Keeping the number of MLAs of the ruling BJD in the state assembly (117 MLAs in the 147-member house), all the three vacant Rajya Sabha seats are likely to go in favour of the ruling party. Hence, the election is merely a formality.

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