Bhubaneswar: All the three candidates of Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) were on Thursday declared elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed.
BJD candidates Prashant Nanda, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Achyuta Samanta were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, said Returning Officer Rajesh Prabhakar Patil after the deadline for withdrawing the nominations – 3 p.m. on Thursday – passed.
They will fill the seats in the upper house of three members – A.U. Singh Deo, Dillip Tirkey and BJD supported Independent member A.V. Swami, whose term is scheduled to end on April 2.
The nominations were scrutinised on March 13 and the papers filed by the BJD candidates were found to be valid. However, the papers filed by the lone Independent candidate Subhas Mohapatra were rejected as he had failed to arrange the required proposers.
The opposition parties the Congress and the BJP had not fielded any candidate due to their inadequate numbers in the state Assembly.
While the BJD has 118 MLAs in the 147-member Assembly, the Congress and the BJP have 15 and 10 legislators respectively.
A candidate required at least 37 first-preference votes to get elected.
“In Rajya Sabha, we will definitely raise our voice for the larger interest of Odisha,” said Nanda after getting elected unopposed.
Patnaik said he will continue his fight for the cause of farmers and raise issues affecting the interest of the state.