Bhubaneswar:24/6/19: Former IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav on joined Monday filed nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha bypolls as a BJP nominee while ex-bureaucrat Amar Amar Patnaik and Sasmit Patra also filed nomination papers as BJD’s Rajya Sabha candidates.
The ruling BJD has backed the candidature of Vaishnav for the upper house bypolls. The election of BJP’s Vaishnav and two BJD nominees is a foregone conclusion as BJD and BJP combine with 134 elected MLAs in the assembly has the required majority.
The opposition Congress, however, has come down heavily on the ruling BJD, accusing it of maintaining a secret understanding with the BJP which was exposed with its announcement to support the saffron party’s candidate in the Rajya Sabha bypolls.
The regional party’s act of BJP candidate in the RS bypolls has provided significant twist to political scenario in the State after both mounted bitter attacks against each other while campaigning for the recently held Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
The bypolls will be held to the seats vacated by Achyuta Samant, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and P K Deb. There will be no election for the seat vacated by Anubhav Mohanty.
The Election Commission had issued notification for three seats as a year is left for the tenure of the fourth seat (Anubhav Mohanty’s) to end, sources said.
While Samant and Patnaik’s tenure as Rajya Sabha members is till April 2024, Deb will have to retire in July 2022. Mohanty’s membership is supposed to end in April 2020.
While the BJD has 111 MLAs in the 147-member state Assembly, the BJP has 23 MLAs and nine belong to the Congress.
The CPI(M) and an independent candidate won one seat each. Two seats – Patkura and Bijepur – are now vacant.Polling will be held on July 5 between 9 am and 4 pm. Counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on the very day.