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Rajya Sabha elections: BJD fields 3 new faces, repeats Sasmit Patra for 2nd term

By Payal Mehta | Updated: May 29, 2022 15:09 IST

New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): Biju Janta Dal (BJD) on Sunday announced candidates for the four seats from Odisha for the Rajya Sabha elections.
The party has entrusted sitting Rajya Sabha MP Dr Sasmit Patra for a second term. A lawyer and academician by profession Patra was first brought to the Rajya Sabha in June 2019. He was appointed as the party's chief whip and is also the party's national spokesperson. For over 25 years, Patra was the first from his party to be put on the panel for the deputy chairman in the Rajya Sabha.
Notably, senior parliamentarian and former Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya has not been given a ticket for a repeat term this time in the Upper House.
BJD has nominated its woman candidate Sulata Deo for Rajya Sabha. Deo has had a long association with BJD and has served in various capacities in the women's wing of the party. Deo, who has never been an MLA in the past, will be marking her debut in Parliament with this Rajya Sabha nomination.
Naveen Patnaik's party which has given 33 per cent reservation to women across various platforms including in Lok Sabha will now get its second member in the Upper House of the Parliament as a woman with Sulata Deo. Mamata Mohanta is another sitting woman MP from the BJD in Rajya Sabha.
Further, BJD has given an opportunity to Manas Ranjan Mangaraj who will be also marking his first move to Parliament. Mangaraj had joined BJD from Congress and has been serving as the media coordinator of the party.
In a move to give tribal representation, BJD has nominated Niranjan Bishi for Rajya Sabha. Bishi a leader from Balangir has emerged as a big tribal face of BJD.
The term of three BJD Rajya Sabha MPs Prasanna Acharya, N Bhaskar Rao and Sasmit Patra will come to an end on July 1. The elections for these Rajya Sabha seats will take place on June 10.
The fourth Rajya Sabha seat was vacated by the resignation of Subhas Singh who was elected as the mayor of Cuttack and the election for this seat will take place on June 13.

BJD is in a position to win all four seats as it has a strength of 122 members in the 147-seat Odisha Assembly.
The party has 12 members in the Lok Sabha and 9 members in the Rajya Sabha. (ANI)