BJD candidates & BJP nominee file papers for RS bypoll

Two ruling Biju Janata Dal candidates and one BJP nominee on Monday filed their nomination papers for the by-election to the three vacant Rajya Sabha seats of Odisha. While BJD's Amar Patnaik and Sasmit Patra filed their nomination papers for two Rajya Sabha seats in presence of party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJP candidate Ashwini Vaishnab also submitted his papers with the returning officer. The chief minister had earlier named BJD's IT Cell Chairman & spokesperson Amar Patnaik and spokesperson Sasmit Patra as the regional party candidates for the by-polls to the two Rajya Sabha seats. 

The BJD president had also announced his party's decision to support BJP candidate and former bureaucrat Ashwini Vaishnab for the third vacant seat from Odisha. The three seats fell vacant after BJD's Achyuta Samanta, Pratap Keshari Deb, and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik resigned from Rajya Sabha after being elected to Lok Sabha and State Assembly in the recently concluded general elections. While Samanta was elected from Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, Deb and Patnaik won from Aul and Khandapada Assembly segments. Deb's tenure as Rajya Sabha member was till July 2022 while Patnaik and Samanta were supposed to remain as members of the Upper House till April 2024.

Odisha Legislative Assembly sources said BJD's Sasmit Patra has filed nomination papers for the seat vacated by P K Deb while Amar Patnaik for the seat vacated by Samanta in the Rajya Sabha. Ashwini Vaishnab, who was private secretary to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has filed nomination against the seat vacated by Soumya Ranjan Patnaik. The last date for filing of nomination is June 25 and verification of papers will be done on June 26. If required, polling will be held on July 5 between 9 am and 4 pm and counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on the same day.

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