Naveen names film actor Anubhav Mohanty as BJD’s RS candidate

Bhubaneswar: Odia film actor Anubhav Mohanty was today named as the ruling BJD’s candidate for the by-election to the lone vacant Rajya Sabha seat, polling for which is scheduled on June 19.

“Anubhav Mohanty will be the BJD candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat,” BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters on his return from Delhi.

The by-election for Rajya Sabha seat was required as BJD vice-president A U Singhdeo failed to take up membership of the Upper House. Singhdeo’s Rajya Sabha membership was nullified as he preferred to remain a member of the 14th Odisha Legislative Assembly.

Singhdeo, official sources said, did not resign from the assembly membership even after being elected to the Upper House as he contested the recently concluded general elections from Balangir assembly segment. Incidentally, Singhdeo lost the assembly elections. He lost the membership of both the assembly and also the Rajya Sabha.

Though Singhdeo was interested for renomination as a BJD candidate for the by-election, Patnaik named Anubhav Mohanty as the party’s RS candidate, Earlier, while announcing name of A U Singhdeo as a BJD candidate from Balangir seat in mid-March this year, Patnaik had said that Anubhav Mohanty would be the party candidate for the Rajya Sabha by-election.

Besides Singhdeo, a number of senior leaders like former finance minister Prafulla Ghadai, Prasanna Acharya, former ministers Kalandi Behera, Arabinda Dhali and others were in the race for the lone Rajya Sabha seat.

“I was assured of a Rajya Sabha ticket by BJD president,” Ghadai, one of the party vice-presidents told reporters.

Ghadai was earlier also denied a party ticket by the BJD supremo in the recently concluded general elections held in April.

Meanwhile, two other BJD Rajya Sabha members- Sashibhusan Behera and Rabinarayan Mohapatra- have been elected to the assembly. The by-elections for the two other seats will be held later, sources said.

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